(Reuters) - Petra Kvitova moved closer to a third straight Connecticut Open crown after defeating Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-1 to reach the semi-finals on Thursday.
Kvitova, who won this event the last two years as well as in 2012, stormed past her Russian opponent as she looks to join Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki as a four-time winner in the tournament. To do that she will have to take down top seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who had little trouble winning her quarter-final match, topping Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-4.
Swedish qualifier Johanna Larsson pulled off an upset when she beat second-seed Roberta Vinci 7-6 (9) 6-1.
Larsson had lost in the final round of qualifying for the tournament, and only made the draw when other players withdrew.
"It always helps to play many matches and to play good tennis," Larsson said. "It helps keep you calm and you know when you go out there on court, you're going to be a tough cookie to beat."
Larsson, who is ranked 62nd in the world, now has a semi-final matchup with Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. Svitolina, the 10th seed, defeated Russia's Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-1.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)