HYDERABAD, India, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Second-seeded Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand moved one step closer to her first career title Thursday in the quarterfinals of the inaugural Indian Open.
Tanasugarn, who been eliminated in the third round of the Australian Open in each of the last four years, dispatched Russian qualifier Maria Kirilenko, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.
Kirilenko turned 16 on Jan. 25 and was in the quarterfinals for the first time. Tanasugarn will face Italian Flavia Pennetta in Friday's semifinals.
Pennetta, who turns 21 on Feb. 25, advanced to her first career semifinal with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Frenchwoman Mary Pierce.
Pierce has 15 career titles, but none since 2000.
Fifth seed Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzbekistan will face Japan's Akiko Morigami in the other semifinal.
Tulyaganova, who is seeking her third career title, overcame Israel's Tzipora Obziler, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.
Morigami, who entered this tournament ranked No. 128, cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Croatian eighth seed Silvija Talaja. Morigami recorded a 6-2, 6-4 win over top-seeded Argentine Clarisa Fernandez in the first round.