Just as we said that the Dubai draw opened up for titleholder Agnieszka Radwanska with withdrawals of Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams, the Pole went out to Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-4 in the quarterfinals, who has now recorded her first Top 5 win since her Wimbledon-winning 2011 season. Despite producing 38 unforced errors to 37 winners, Kvitova was better than Radwanska, whose numbers were modest six winners to five unforced errors. In the semifinals, the sixth-seeded Kvitova will play eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki, who battled past Marion Bartoli 4-6 6-1 6-4. The semifinal will be a clash of Top 2 players from the WTA rankings at the end of 2011.
The other Dubai semifinal will feature members of the top-ranked doubles pairing, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. The fifth-seeded Errani, who is 4-2 all-time against Vinci in singles, recovered from suffering a second-set bagel to defeat Nadia Petrova 6-4 0-6 6-3, while Vinci is enjoying one of the best weeks of her career, having recorded two straight Top 10 victories: against world No.6 Angelique Kerber on Wednesday and today against world No.9 Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-4. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)