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Top-seeded Muguruza, Pavlyuchenkova reach Linz quarterfinals

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LINZ, Austria (AP) Top-seeded Garbine Muguruza and defending champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advanced to the quarterfinals of the Generali Ladies with straight-set wins on Thursday.

The French Open champion defeated Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1, 6-1, while Pavlyuchenkova recovered from dropping 4-1 behind in the opening set to beat Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-4, 7-6 (2).

Muguruza held off two break points in her opening service game then was in control of the match.

“This was maybe close to my best,” the sixth-ranked Spaniard said.

Muguruza’s next opponent is Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland, who defeated Julia Goerges of Germany 7-5, 6-4. Golubic saved a set point when Goerges served at 5-4 in the opening set.

Pavlyuchenkova next plays second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who defeated Annika Beck of Germany 6-1, 6-3.

“This is the best year of my career,” said the 10th-ranked Cibulkova, who has won two titles and appeared in three more finals. “It just feels great to be a consistent player.”

Earlier, Madison Keys advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Misaki Doi of Japan 6-2, 6-0. Dominating throughout, the third-seeded American had five aces and avoided break points, while the 30th-ranked Doi won only 40 percent of the points on her serve.

Keys will next play French qualifier Oceane Dodin.

Muguruza advances to Pan Pacific Open semis

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TOKYO — Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza advanced to the semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open by beating Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-4 Friday.

A rare double-fault by the top-seeded Muguruza allowed Garcia to pull even at 3-3 in the second set, but the Spaniard broke back in the next game.

Playing in her first tournament since earning the No. 1 ranking, Muguruza will next face Caroline Wozniacki. The former top-ranked Dane advanced when Dominika Cibulkova was forced to retire with a right thigh injury while trailing 3-6, 7-6 (5), 3-1.

Also, Angelique Kerber upset second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (5), 7-5. The seventh-seeded Kerber took advantage of several unforced errors by the Czech player and won with a powerful cross-court shot on her fifth match point.

Kerber will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals. The Russian beat Barbora Strycova 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Goffin falls to Paire at Moselle Open

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METZ, France — French player Benoit Paire came out on top of a tight battle with David Goffin to reach the semifinals of the Moselle Open on Friday after saving one match point.

Paire edged the 2014 champion 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-6 (7) after nearly 2 1/2 hours at the indoor tournament.

Goffin led 4-2 in the decider and failed to convert a match point at 6-5 in the tiebreaker.

Paire will next be up against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.

The other semifinal will pit Mischa Zverev against qualifier Peter Gojowczyk.

The fifth-seeded Zverev defeated lucky loser Kenny de Schepper 7-5, 7-6 (4) while the 95th-ranked Gojowczyk needed less than one hour to beat Marius Copil 6-2, 6-4.