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Posted at: Jan 12, 2018, 1:42 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2018, 1:42 AM (IST)

Qualifier Giorgi ousts Radwanska

Sydney, January 11

Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi continued her impressive run at the Sydney International by racing past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2 on Thursday to set up a last four clash with Angelique Kerber.

Giorgi, belying her ranking of 100th in the world, beat US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round and then ousted twice Wimbledon and former Sydney champion Petra Kvitova.

She is yet to drop a set over six matches in qualifying or the main draw and will next meet world No. 22 Kerber who staged a 6-3 6-1 victory over Dominika Cibulkova in the last eight.

Former world No. 1 Kerber fell out of the top 20 last year but has made a strong start to the year ahead of next week’s Australian Open with victories over Lucie Safarova and Venus Williams this week.

“I’m not looking back at 2017 any more,” Kerber, who won the Australian Open and the US Open titles in 2016, said.

“I’ve had a great off-season and I’m working hard. I’m trying to do my best on court and win as many matches before going to Melbourne. It’s just the beginning of the year. I’m trying to play my game again, enjoy every minute on court. I’m trying to be aggressive and play like I did the year before last.”

The other semifinal in Sydney will be an all-Australian affair between Ashleigh Barty and Daria Gavrilova. Barty completed a confident 6-3 6-2 victory over Czech Barbora Strycova, while Gavrilova advanced after her last-eight opponent Garbine Muguruza withdrew due to a leg injury.

Del Potro sets up Auckland semifinal with Ferrer

Juan Martin del Potro kept his Australian Open preparations on track with a 7-6(4) 6-3 win over Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the Auckland Classic on Thursday, setting up a semifinal meeting with David Ferrer.

Former US Open champion del Potro fired down 11 aces and did not face a break point during the one hour, 33 minutes match.

The 29-year-old second seed, who won the tournament the last time he played in it in 2009, will now return to the top 10 in the ATP rankings on Monday for the first time since August 2014. — Reuters 

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