Kuznetsova advances, Davydenko out in Beijing

Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova marched into the semifinals of the China Open on Friday with a routine win, but compatriot Nikolay Davydenko was ousted in a straight-set upset.

Kuznetsova, the 2006 champion in Beijing, notched an easy 6-3, 6-3 victory over talented Russian teen Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who earlier this week knocked Venus Williams out of the $6,6-million mixed WTA/ATP event.

The elder Russian, the reigning French Open champion, will face either China’s Peng Shuai — the home crowd’s last hope in the tournament — or fellow Russian Nadia Petrova for a spot in the final.

Petrova upset soon-to-be world number one Serena Williams on Thursday to reach the quarters, while Peng beat three-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova.

Russian women have secured five spots in the final eight here.

On the men’s side, fourth seed Davydenko, who claimed his third title of the season last week in Kuala Lumpur, was upset by Croatian eighth seed Marin Cilic in just over 90 minutes, 6-4, 6-4.

The result halted Davydenko’s current run of form at six consecutive wins while Cilic, who knocked Andy Murray out in the US Open fourth round, improved to 3-0 over the world number eight Russian.

The 15th-ranked Croatian secured his 39th match win of the season against 16 losses as he bids for a third 2009 title, following victories in Chennai and Zagreb. — AFP



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