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Serena, Azarenka into Wimbledon semis

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Serena, Azarenka into Wimbledon semis
America's Serena Williams returns in her match against Russia's Petra Kvitova on the eighth day of the 2012 Wimbledon championships in London, July 3, 2012. UPI/Hugo Philpott | License Photo

LONDON, July 3 (UPI) -- Four-time winner Serena Williams Tuesday dispatched defending champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the Wimbledon women's semifinals.

Williams, seeded sixth, ousted the No. 4 seed Kvitova under the roof on Center Court at the All England Lawn Tennis Club to set up a meeting with second-seeded former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.

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The 31-year-old American took 84 minutes to top her Czech opponent, employing a dominating serve. Williams' performance included 13 aces -- including three in the final game -- and no double faults. She allowed Kvitova only one break-point chance.

"I'm going to have to [step it up again] if I'm going to win the title," Williams said afterward. "There's a lot of people vying for it still."

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Azarenka, the Australian Open champ, got past game Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). The Belarusian will be making her third major semifinal appearance after going 1-1 in her previous two.

PHOTOS: Wimbledon tennis 2012

Also reaching the semis was eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber, who eliminated her 15th-seeded compatriot Sabine Lisicki 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 7-5. Kerber needed five match points to put away Lisicki, who upset world No. 1 Maria Sharapova Monday.

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Kerber will appear in her first Wimbledon and second career Grand Slam semifinal, facing the Agnieszka Radwanska-Maria Kirilenko winner Thursday.

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Also Tuesday, third-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska bested 17th-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in a match that began at Centre Court and was forced indoors due to rain.

The 23-year-old Radwanska, who has a shot at claiming the No. 1 ranking this week, will appear in her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal.

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