Guangzhou, China – Maria Kirilenko of Russia rolled into the semifinals of the Guangzhou International tennis event on Thursday, while Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova was denied in her bid to repeat as champion.
The top-seeded Kirilenko earned a 6-1, 7-5 win over Tetiana Luzhanska of the Ukraine in Thursday's quarterfinals, while the second-seeded Gajdosova dropped a 6-4, 6-3 decision to Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.
Kirilenko has yet to drop a set this week as she tries to end a three-year title drought. The 24-year-old Muscovite hasn't won a tournament since claiming three of her five career titles during the 2008 season.
Friday will mark Kirilenko's first semifinal of the year, although she played well at the U.S. Open in her last event. She advanced to the fourth round before falling to eventual champion Samantha Stosur.
Next up for Kirilenko will be South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers. The seventh seed rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 quarterfinal win over Poland's Urszula Radwanska. Scheepers has played three sets in each of her first three matches and has reached a WTA semifinal for the first time in her career.
The eighth-seeded Rybarikova will play in her second semifinal of the year after denying Gajdosova on Thursday. Gajdosova won this title last year for her first career WTA title and followed it up with a win early this season at Hobart.
Rybarikova captured her second career title earlier this year in Memphis, and on Friday will meet China's Zheng Jie, who thrilled the home crowd Thursday with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Petra Martic of Croatia.
Zheng is also trying to end a lengthy title drought, as the last of her three tournament victories came in 2006.
The 2011 Guangzhou titlist will collect $37,000.