Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain returns a shot against Maria Sharapova of Russia during the China Open tennis tournament at the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Vincent Thian
October 31, 2014

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) Carla Suarez Navarro advanced to the semifinals of the season-ending Tournament of Champions by beating Tsvetana Pironkova 7-6 (2), 6-1 on Friday.

The fifth-seeded Spanish player was under pressure knowing that only a straight-set victory would secure her spot in the semis.

Home favorite Pironkova tried hard but failed to convert two set points at 6-5 in the tiebreaker. Suarez Navarro took a quick 5-0 lead in the second set and allowed Pironkova just one game before clinching the set and her required victory.

Germany's Andrea Petkovic is the second player from the Sredets group to advance to the semifinals.

Alize Cornet of France faces Spain's Garbine Muguruza, while Italy's Flavia Pennetta plays against Karolina Plliskova from the Czech Republic later in the Serdika group's last matches.

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