Eastbourne, England – Reigning champion Marion Bartoli and rising German star Angelique Kerber eased into the semifinals at the Aegon International tennis event, a final Wimbledon tune-up.
The fourth-seeded Bartoli continued her winning ways at this tournament by smacking eight aces in a 6-4, 6-2 victory over seventh-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova, while a fifth-seeded Kerber handled former Eastbourne champ Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-4 in 59 minutes at Devonshire Park. Kerber is now tied with Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska for the most match wins (38) on the WTA this year.
Makarova titled here two years ago.
The 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Bartoli beat reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in last year's Eastbourne finale.
The French Bartoli will meet capable Austrian Tamira Paszek on Friday. Paszek took down Bulgarian grass-courter Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-0, 6-4. Pironkova was a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2010 and quarterfinalist last year.
One other quarterfinal saw Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova dismiss Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-3, 7-5. Zakopalova and Kerber will clash in Friday's other semi.
The winner of this $637,000 event will collect $107,000.