Kerber, Ivanovic reach semis; Stephens ousted in Austria
Linz, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - 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.