Mladenovic reaches semifinals of Brazil Tennis Cup

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FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) — Seventh-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France cruised past Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-4, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the Brazil Tennis Cup on Thursday.

The 58th-ranked Mladenovic broke Czink's serve four times and saved eight break points to win the hardcourt match in southern Brazil.

Czink had eliminated second-seeded Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the first round and crowd-favorite Bia Haddad Maia in the second.

Mladenovic will face Monica Niculescu of Romania, who beat Timea Babos of Hungary 6-3, 6-2.

Top-seeded Venus Williams, in her first tournament since the Australian Open in January, plays her quarterfinal match against fifth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia later Thursday.

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