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Sharapova eases into Paris semis

Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seed Maria Sharapova was an easy quarterfinal winner Friday at the GDF Suez Open in Paris.

The former world No. 1 star handled eighth-seeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 6-2 on the indoor surface at Stade Pierre de Coubertin.

Last year's French Open runner-up Sharapova's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who upset fourth-seeded German Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) on Day 5. The left-handed Kerber was the GDF Suez champion two years ago.

Third-seeded former French Open runner-up Sara Errani also rolled into Saturday's semis by virtue of a 6-2, 6-3 decision over Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.

Errani's victory sets up a matchup with French crowd favorite Alize Cornet, who snuck past former top-10 German Andrea Petkovic 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-3 to reach the final four.

This week's titlist will claim $132,000.