Benesova advances to Hobart semis

HOBART, Australia -- Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic beat Argentine Gisela Dulko 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach a semifinals at the Hobart International.

Benesova will meet 20-year-old Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova for a spot in the final.

"It's important for me to win a few matches at the beginning of the season," Benesova said. "My game is going pretty good so far -- the semis here is not bad -- we'll see if it can be better."

Ranked 43rd at the end of 2008, Benesova is the highest-ranked player remaining in the tournament after all the seeded players were ousted in the first two rounds.

Rybarikova, who beat top-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy in the second round, followed with a 6-0, 1-6, 7-6 (7) quarterfinal win over Melinda Czink of Hungary.

In the evening quarterfinals, 18-year-old Czech Petra Kvitova had a 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over 17-year-old Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

She will meet France's Virginie Razzano, who beat Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-1.