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Tennis: Sharapova Advances to Pan Pacific Open Semifinals

Top-seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia has defeated Australian Samantha Stosur, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open women's tennis tournament in Tokyo.

That sets up a showdown Saturday with former world number-one Martina Hingis of Switzerland. Hingis, who entered the tournament as a wild card, won her quarterfinal against Russian Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 6-1.

Hingis has won this event four times, but last played it in 2002 before her three-year retirement with foot injuries. Sharapova is the defending champion and has never before played Hingis.

Other quarterfinal winners Friday were second-seeded Elena Dementieva and Russian compatriot Anastasia Myskina. Dementieva recovered from a first-set loss to defeat fifth-seeded Czech Nicole Vaidisova, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, and Myskina rallied to beat countrywoman Elena Likhovtseva 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP.