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Petrova Reaches Semifinals of ASB Women's Classic Tennis Tournament

Top-seed Nadia Petrova of Russia has overcome a three-hour rain delay - and Puerto Rico's Kristina Brandi - to reach the semifinals of the ASB Women's Classic tennis tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.

Petrova was ready to start the quarterfinal match when heavy rain caused the delay. However, the Russian was not distracted, ousting Brandi in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.

In Friday's semifinals, Petrova takes on Marion Bartoli of France. Bartoli, the sixth seed, beat Germany's Julia Schruff in straight sets (6-2, 6-0).

The other semifinal has eighth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia taking on Daniela Hantuchova of the Czech Republic.

Zvonareva ousted Russian compatriot Maria Kirilenko in less than one hour (6-2, 6-0). Hantuchova survived a three-hour match against Israel's Tzipora Obziler (7-5, 3-6, 7-5).

The hard court tournament is one of several events that players are using to prepare for the first major tournament of the year, the Australian Open, which starts later this month in Melbourne.

Some information for this report provided by AP.