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Former champ Wozniacki advances to Pan Pacific quarterfinals

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TOKYO — Former champion Caroline Wozniacki outlasted fourth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the Pan Pacific Open quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Wozniacki won four of five break points in the nearly three-hour match at Ariake Colloseum.

“We played for such a long time and … the standard was very high,” Wozniacki said. “Luckily, I’m the one here, and I’m happy to get through.”

Wozniacki, who won the title in 2010 and reached the final in 2014, looked set for a comfortable win, but Suarez Navarro reeled off four straight games to take the second set.

A sudden rain delay at the start of the third set took the momentum away from Suarez Navarro as the Spaniard double-faulted to slip a break behind.

Wozniacki served out, and will meet either Yulia Putintseva or Magda Linette in the quarterfinals.

Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska also faced a major challenge, but prevailed over Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Radwanska will next face Monica Puig, who rallied to upset 2013 champion Petra Kvitova 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The Puerto Rican, who also beat Kvitova on her way to becoming the Rio de Janeiro Olympic champion, recovered from 4-2 down in the final set. She saved 10 of 13 break points.

Japanese wild card Naomi Osaka beat sixth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal with either Karolina Pliskova or Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Stan Wawrinka advances to Australian Open semifinals

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U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka is through to the Australian Open semifinals after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena.

Wawrinka will play the winner of the night quarterfinal between Roger Federer and Mischa Zverev.

It was Wawrinka’s fourth win in a row over Tsonga and the first meeting between the pair at a Grand Slam other than the French Open, where they had met three times, with Wawrinka holding a 2-1 edge.

It was also the pair’s first meeting on a hardcourt in nearly 10 years — at Metz, France in 2007, when Tsonga won.

Venus Williams sets Australian record with run to semifinals

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Age appears to be no barrier for Venus Williams.

The 36-year-old Williams beat No. 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Tuesday, becoming the oldest player to reach the Australian Open women’s semifinals in the Open era.

Her 50th career win at Melbourne Park earned her a spot in the last four for the first time in 14 years.

“It’s wonderful to start the year out with this appearance,” said Williams, who hadn’t reached the semifinals here since 2003, the year she lost the final to her sister, Serena. “I want to go further. I’m not happy just with this. But I’m so happy to be in the position to like go further.”

She will next play CoCo Vandeweghe, who is in the Australian Open semifinals for the first time.

I’m just so excited that I have an opportunity to play again,” Williams said. “That’s all I’m focused on.”

Williams dropped four service games against Pavlyuchenkova, but she responded each time by breaking back. In the tiebreaker, she trailed 3-1 before winning the last six points – clinching the match on Pavlyuchenkova’s double-fault.

The seven-time major winner has advanced through the tournament without dropping a set, recovering from a right elbow injury that forced her to withdraw from a warmup tournament in New Zealand.

Now she is into semifinals for the second time in three majors – after a six-year absence from the last four – and for the 21st time overall.

With her run to the Wimbledon semifinals last year, Williams became the oldest woman since Martina Navratilova in 1994 to advance so far at a major. Navratilova was 37, years 258 days at the end of Wimbledon that year.

The record belongs to Billie Jean King, who was 39 years, 223 days when she reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 1983.