PARIS - Russian seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova survived a fightback from American world number two Serena Williams to book a French Open semi-final berth with a 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 7-5 win here yesterday.
Kuznetsova, the 2006 runner-up, will play 30th seed Samantha Stosur for a place in the final, after the Australian came past Romania's Sorana Cirstea.
World number seven Kuznetsova broke twice to open up a 3-0 first-set lead, the double-break secured with a superb curving backhand winner down the line, before conceding a break with a double-fault in her next service game.
Williams broke again when Kuznetsova was serving for the set at 5-4, but after surviving a set point at 5-6 down on her own serve the Russian played superbly to prevail in the subsequent tie-break.
Meanwhile Roger Federer reached his 20th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal yesterday with a 7-6 (8/6) 6-2 6-4 win over France's Gael Monfils to close in on a first French Open title and a record-equalling 14th major.
World number two Federer, the tournament favourite after the shock defeat of four-time winner Rafael Nadal, as well as the exits of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, will face either Juan Martin del Potro or Tommy Robredo for a place in what would be his fourth successive Roland Garros final.
A final victory on Sunday would make the Swiss only the sixth man in history to complete a career Grand Slam and take him level with Pete Sampras's record of 14 majors. - Sapa-AFP