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Russian teenager Pavlyuchenkova makes semifinals at Indian Wells

CBSSports.com wire reports | march 19. 2009

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Russian high school student Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova continued her dream run through the BNP Paribas Open by beating seventh-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 7-6 (8), 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

In her first career semifinals, the 17-year-old will meet defending champion Ana Ivanovic, who advanced when scheduled opponent Sybille Bammer of Austria withdrew with a left shoulder injury.

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Pavlyuchenkova, the only unseeded player in the last eight, and Poland's Radwanska virtually matched each other from the baseline throughout their 95-minute match. In both sets Pavlyuchenkova led 5-3. She blew that in the first set, but in the second she dropped serve only to immediately break Radwanska a fifth and final time for the match with a backhand down the line.

"I'm very excited, and more and more every day because I keep winning," Pavlyuchenkova said. "And it's really a big achievement for me. I beat some really good players."

Yet to drop a set, the speedy Russian triggered her breakthrough tournament by eliminating second-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the second round for her first top-10 win. Radwanska was her second.

Pavlyuchenkova and fifth-seeded Ivanovic will meet for the first time.

The other semifinal pits fourth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia against eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

On the men's side, Andy Murray spoiled Ivan Ljubicic's 30th birthday by edging the unseeded Croat 7-5, 7-6 (6) in the quarterfinals.

Fourth-seeded Murray extended his career-best start to a season to 19-1. He has two titles already, and was set to face either Roger Federer or Fernando Verdasco of Spain.

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