PARIS (AP) -Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka became the first woman representing Belarus to reach the semifinals of the French Open, defeating Maria Kirilenko of Russia 7-6 (3), 6-2 on Wednesday.
The two-time Australian Open champion won five straight points to lead 6-1 in the tiebreaker before hitting a backhand winner to take the first set.
Kirilenko, who never went beyond the quarterfinals in any Grand Slam tournament, double-faulted to trail 3-1 in the second set.
Azarenka sealed her spot in the last four when Kirilenko sent a forehand long on match point. She will next face No. 2 Maria Sharapova.