Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova both reached the semi-finals of the WTA Championships.


Azarenka – the fourth seed at the eight-woman, season-ending tournament in Istanbul – was totally dominant on serve as she swept aside French Open champion Li Na 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 32 minutes. The Belarusian, who also dropped just four games during her win over US Open champion Sam Stosur the previous day, is now guaranteed a place in the last four with one White Group match still to play. Li and Stosur meet on Friday with the winner joining Azarenka in advancing to the semi-finals. Top seed Caroline Wozniacki’s destiny is out of her hands after she was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Wimbledon champion Kvitova. Kvitova dominated proceedings, hitting 36 winners compared to six from her opponent and never looked back after an early break in the opening set. Wozniacki needed to have her blood pressure checked after the first set but was able to carry on. But there was no stopping Kvitova – making her debut at the event this year – as the Czech left-hander broke twice more on the way to closing out her second victory in a row.

Wozniacki, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska and lost to Vera Zvonareva earlier in the round-robin, has now finished her Red Group campaign. The Dane, guaranteed to end the year as world number one after Maria Sharapova’s withdrawal, still has an outside chance of making the semi-finals if Radwasnka loses to Kvitova in the final Red Group fixture on Friday. Poland’s Radwanska, the eighth seed, beat Zvonareva 1-6 6-2 7-5 in Thursday’s third encounter – a result that eliminates the sixth-seeded Russian. Radwanska trailed 5-3 in the decider and saved three match points on the way to completing an epic triumph. She will make the last four with victory over Kvitova, who is already guaranteed top spot in the Red Group.




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