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Francesca Schiavone leads Grand Prix SAR semifinalists

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Francesca Schiavone, ranked No. 48, hadn't made it past the quarterfinals of an event this year.

Francesca Schiavone of Italy moved into the semifinals of the Grand Prix SAR by defeating third-seeded Alize Cornet of France 6-4, 6-4 on Friday.

Schiavone broke for a 4-3 lead in the first set and led 4-1 in the second before Cornet rallied to tie at 4-4. But the Frenchwoman, who saved 16 of 21 break points in the match, then dropped serve in the penultimate game.

Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion, will face Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa, who routed seventh-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-1, 6-2.

Scheepers won six straight games to take the first set and lead 1-0 in the second against Mladenovic, who won the French Open junior title in 2009.

Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain also advanced by beating defending champion Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The unseeded Spaniard will meet Mandy Minella of Luxembourg, who edged Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

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