Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland celebrates after beating Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their singles match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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Radwanska advances to semifinals at WTA Finals

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SINGAPORE — Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska took the final spot in the semifinals of the WTA Finals, beating Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-3 on Friday.

Radwanska, who finished 2-1 in the round robin, will play top-seeded Angelique Kerber in Saturday’s semifinals. Kerber won the Australian Open and the U.S. Open this season, and reached the Wimbledon final.

“I think I really have nothing to lose at the moment, especially (since) I’m going to play the best player of the season,” Radwanska said of the top-ranked German. “She’s played incredible tennis this year.”

Earlier, Svetlana Kuznetsova earned first place in the White Group despite losing to Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Kuznetsova will next play Dominika Cibulkova, who reached the semifinals despite finishing 1-2.

Pliskova offered Radwanska too many free points, making 29 unforced errors to only eight for the Pole.

Radwanska initially trailed 4-2 in the first set, but she soon recovered to 4-4.

In the second set, Radwanska scored the final service break in the eighth game when Pliskova netted two consecutive overheads.

Kuznetsova managed to win the first set against Muguruza, but looked fatigued after that.

“Definitely, you don’t want to lose the match,” said Kuznetsova, the last player to qualify for the season-ending tournament. “You try to fight. Sometimes the lack of energy just won’t let you do that.”

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.