Women's semis set at Aussie Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Kim Clijsters moved into an Australian Open semifinal showdown with second-ranked Vera Zvonareva, beating Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 7-6 (4) today as air force planes flew overhead as part of celebrations for the national holiday.

Cannons went off earlier when Zvonareva started the Australia Day proceedings at Rod Laver Arena with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Petra Kvitova.

Thursday's semifinal will be a rematch of the last U.S. Open final, where Clijsters collected her third Grand Slam title.

Clijsters is the only Grand Slam winner into the women's semis, although she's still seeking her first major title outside of America. No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and China's Li Na meet in the other half of the draw.

"I hope the experience can help me a little bit," Clijsters said. "But there are some tough players out there, we have Nos. 1, 2, 3 still in and Li Na has been playing really well. So it is going to be really tough.

"I lost to Vera at Wimbledon last year, I beat her in finals of U.S. Open."

Clijsters has a 6-3 lead in head-to-heads against Zvonareva, while Li has won two of her three matches against Wozniacki.

Zvonareva has lost the last two Grand Slam finals, to Clijsters in New York and Serena Williams at Wimbledon.

Clijsters was up a set and a break before Radwanska rallied, winning three straight games to lead 5-4 with a chance to serve for the second set.

With six Royal Australian Air Force "Roulettes" flying overhead, Clijsters converted her fourth break-point chance to tie it at 5 and the set went to a tiebreaker.

Clijsters now has reached the semifinals five times in Australia. Her best run remains her trip to the final in 2004, when she lost to fellow Belgian Justine Henin.

On Tuesday, Roger Federer moved onto the Australian Open semifinals for the eighth time. He didn't want to talk about anything beyond his next match, against Novak Djokovic.

Federer routed Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in the first all-Swiss quarterfinal at a major. Djokovic eliminated Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych 6-1, 7-6 (5), 6-1.

Federer and Rafael Nadal have dominated the Grand Slam tournaments, winning 21 of the last 23 titles. But Djokovic is dangerous.

It was at this stage of the 2008 Australian Open that Djokovic beat Federer before going on to win his first and only Grand Slam singles title. Federer also lost to Djokovic after having two match points in the U.S. Open semifinals last September.

Nadal plays the night quarterfinal today against David Ferrer. A win could set up a semifinal against Andy Murray, the only man to beat Nadal in a major in 2010. Murray was playing Alexandr Dolgopolov, the breakthrough player of the tournament.

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