Tennis

Azarenka beats Kirilenko in French Open quarters

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PARIS (AP)

Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka became the first woman representing Belarus to reach the semifinals of the French Open, defeating Maria Kirilenko of Russia 7-6 (3), 6-2 on Wednesday.

The two-time Australian Open champion won five straight points to lead 6-1 in the tiebreaker before hitting a backhand winner to take the first set.

Kirilenko, who never went beyond the quarterfinals in any Grand Slam tournament, double-faulted to trail 3-1 in the second set.

Azarenka sealed her spot in the last four when Kirilenko sent a forehand long on match point. She will next face No. 2 Maria Sharapova.

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