BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 05:  Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia returns a shot against Madison Keys of the United States during her Women's singles third round match on day five of the 2016 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre on October 5, 2016 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images)
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Moscow results to decide final WTA Finals spot

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MOSCOW (AP) With Serena Williams’ decision to withdraw from next week’s WTA Finals, the final spot in the year-end tournament will be decided in Moscow.

Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain each know that winning the Kremlin Cup will guarantee a place at the eight-player finals in Singapore.

If neither Kuznetsova nor Suarez Navarro wins, the final spot stays with Britain’s Johanna Konta, who isn’t playing this week as she tries to shake off an abdominal strain.

Suarez Navarro is happy to have her destiny in her own hands as she aims for her first career finals appearance in singles.

“Sometimes at the end of the season, people are looking at other people, at other results, but it’s not my case,” she said Tuesday. “Now it all depends on me. I think it’s much better.”

Kuznetsova is already assured of her best year-end ranking since 2009 and is aiming to defend her Moscow title in front of a home crowd.

“If I can win the tournament it would be wonderful, great, and everything I’m wishing for, but I don’t want to look that far ahead,” she said.

Both Kuznetsova and Suarez Navarro have first-round byes in Moscow. The Russian will start Wednesday against either France’s Alize Cornet or Shelby Rogers of the U.S., while Suarez Navarro faces a tricky match against either Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic or Russian-born Australian Daria Gavrilova.

Williams, a 22-time Grand Slam singles champion, announced her withdrawal from the WTA Finals on Monday, citing a right shoulder injury. It’s the second year in a row she will miss the finals.

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.