MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti)
Top seed Sam Stosur cruised past Jamie Hampton of the United States in a 6-2, 6-4 win to reach the semifinals of the Japan Open in Osaka on Friday.
Stosur is to play Chang Kai-Chen of Taiwan for a shot at her first title since September last year.
Against Hampton, the Australian showed little sign of the flaws that caused her to drop a set in the second round against Virginie Razzano.
Stosur won the Osaka title in 2009 and was last year’s runner-up, losing to Marion Bartoli.
In the other half of the draw, Britain’s Heather Watson is one step away from her first career WTA singles final after beating Pauline Parmentier in the quarterfinals.
World No. 71 Watson won 7-5, 6-3 against France’s Pauline Parmentier and now faces a semifinal against local player Misaki Doi, who ousted seventh seed Chanelle Scheepers in a surprise quarterfinal victory for the world No. 123.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.