Kuznetsova Returns To the BNP Paribas Open Semifinals

© 2017 Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open

Svetlana Kuznetsova is into the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open for the first time in nine years after she beat fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-4 in Stadium 1 on Wednesday.

The two-time major champion won 81% of first serve points (22/27) in the 63-minute contest, their third meeting of the season and ninth overall. After suffering losses to her compatriot in Sydney and Melbourne, Kuznetsova now leads that series 6-3.

"I lost [to her] two times this year, so today was kind of an important match," said the 31 year old on court after the match. "I know I felt much better on the court. It was good to focus."

The World No. 8 is bidding to reach the semifinal stage here in Indian Wells for the third time in her career, after back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2007 (l. to Hantuchova) and 2008 (l. to Ivanovic). She’ll play the winner between 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova and reigning Roland Garros champion Garbiñe Muguruza.