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Eugenie Bouchard advances to semifinals at Sydney International


Johanna Konta captured the second title of her career on Friday, cruising past world number three Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-2 to win the Apia International Sydney title. Bouchard was not quite done and her fighting spirit earned her a break back only to lose her serve for the third time.

The Canadian's semifinal opponent will be Sydney-born Johanna Konta of Britain, who beat Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-5.

"She played an unbelievable match against Caro (Wozniacki) in this kind of heat", Radwanska said. "I felt each match that I was playing I was thinking a little more clearly".

Konta, who was watched by her sister, nieces and nephews, described her triumph as "a special moment". If she does to the great American what Heather Watson nearly did a few years ago at Wimbledon, her semi-final opponent could well be Radwanska. Further, she finished off proceedings with her seventh ace to secure the win in one hour and 21 minutes. "I'm just very happy to make another final, especially here when it's always very strong tournament". Radwanska continued to stroll through the start of the encounter as she consolidated the break of service with a comfortable hold of serve which extended and affirmed her lead in the scoreboard.

In contrast, Radwanska had a much easier path to the semifinals as she just had to defeat Christina McHale and qualifier Duan Yingying in the previous two rounds after receiving a bye.

Konta has been in excellent form ahead of the Australian Open
Konta has been in excellent form ahead of the Australian Open

The doubles match between Henri Kontinen/John Peers and Edouard Roger-Vasselin/Daniel Nestor went the distance, with the Finnish and Australian pairing getting Team Gold off to the ideal start with a 2-6 7-5 10-5 win. Luxembourg's Gilles Muller reached his third-straight semis with a big-serving straight sets victory over second seed Pablo Cuevas on Thursday.

Next to book a place in the semifinals was world No 61 Lesia Tsurenko with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win against American Shelby Rogers.

Andrey Kuznetsov also advanced to the last four with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over fourth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta.

A brilliant opening passing forehand victor from Radwanska, 27, suggested she was in the mood on Friday and when she was 0-30 up on Konta's serve in the second game of the match it looked as though it could be a tricky evening for the Briton. So, you know, I think that's the flawless thing to have.

Former President of Iran Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani dies aged 82
Rafsanjani, center, arrives to register his candidacy for the 2013 presidential election at the interior ministry in Tehran. He was a widely known figure and veteran of Iranian politics, having been president for eight years from 1987.

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