Posted September. 26, 2009 07:51,
Maria Kirilenko of Russia is seeking to become the first player to defend her title at the Hansol Korea Open in Seoul, beating compatriot Vera Dushevina, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals yesterday.
The tournament began in 2004 as the countrys sole event on the World Tennis Association tour. Repeating as champion is considered tough because of the big names who appear, including Maria Sharapova of Russia and Venus Williams of the United States.
At this years event, world No. 54 Kirilenko maintained her unbeaten record against No. 50 Dushevina, who has lost all three matches against Kirilenko.
Kirilenko said, I want to win for the second straight year, which isnt easy due to too many great players. I just do my best.
She will face in the semifinals the winner of the quarterfinal match between Daniela Hantuchova (No. 21) of Slovakia and Kimiko Date Krumm (No. 155) of Japan.
Anna-Lena Groenefeld (No. 77) of Germany also advanced to the semifinals after defeating Yung-Jan Chan (No. 122) of Taiwan, 6-0, 2-6, 7-5.