Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus defeated qualifier Ksenia Palkin 6-4, 6-3 Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Tashkent Open.
The 18-year-old Azarenka will next play fourth-seeded Elena Vesnina of Russia, who rallied to beat fifth-seeded Ioana Raluca Olaru of Romania 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in their quarterfinal.
Third-seeded Olga Govortsova of Belarus will take on Pauline Parmentier of France in the second semifinal.
Govortsova beat Katie O’Brien of Britain 6-2, 6-3, and Parmentier advanced to her first career WTA Tour semifinal with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan.
The 38th-ranked Azarenka, who reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open, won five consecutive games in the second set to close the match in 37 minutes.
Vesnina, ranked 61st, prevailed in a second-set tiebreaker to stay in the match and capitalized on Olaru’s three double faults in the ninth game of the third set to break the Romanian and advance to her second semifinal this season.
All four semifinalists are yet to win a title.