Kerber, Ivanovic reach semis; Stephens ousted in Austria

Linz, Austria ( - Top seed Angelique Kerber and former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic gained safe entry into the semifinals, while young American star Sloane Stephens came up a quarterfinal loser Friday at the Generali Ladies Linz tennis tournament.

The left-handed German Kerber, a recent finalist in Tokyo, whipped Austrian wild card Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-3, 6-1, while the third-seeded two-time Linz champion Ivanovic handled seventh-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-4 on the indoor hardcourts at TipsArena Linz. Cibulkova was a runner-up here two years ago.

With her victory on Friday, Kerber completed the eight-player field for the upcoming season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, the second-seeded, world No. 13 Stephens succumbed to 57th-ranked Swiss Stefanie Voegele, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 7-5.

One other quarterfinal saw fourth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro cruise past fifth-seeded Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-1, 6-3.

Saturday's semis will pit Kerber against Suarez Navarro and Ivanovic versus Voegele.

Ivanovic was the Linz titlist in 2008 and 2010.

This week's winner will claim $43,700.