TOKYO (AP) — Ana Ivanovic beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 for the first time since 2008 to reach the Pan Pacific Open semifinals on Friday.
Ivanovic had lost five straight to Safarova, but with an early break was in control of their quarterfinal at Ariake Coliseum.
Ivanovic moved on to face top-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, who beat sixth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia a third straight time this year, 6-3, 6-0.
Kerber beat Ivanovic last year in the second round.
Second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki defeated eighth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3, 6-3.
“It was a little like playing chess,” said Wozniacki, the champion in 2010. “We opened up the court and tried to outplay each other.”
The U.S. Open finalist will play Garbine Muguruza of Spain on Saturday.
“She’s been playing well all week,” Wozniacki said of Muguruza. “I need to make her run, take the ball early, need to serve and return well.”
Muguruza, despite 10 double-faults, defeated Casey Dellacqua of Australia 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.