Russian Pair Into Women's Semis

APSvetlana Kuznetsova firing herself up during her French Open quarterfinal win over Kaia Kanepi on Wednesday.
PARIS -- Twice on the verge of elimination, Dinara Safina instead finds herself in the French Open semifinals.

Safina came within a point of losing for the second consecutive match, then rallied Wednesday to beat fellow Russian Yelena Dementyeva 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-0. The semifinal berth is the first in a major tournament for the younger sister of two-time Grand Slam champion Marat Safin.

Safina's latest comeback was remarkably similar to the one against top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the fourth round.

The No. 13-seeded Safina trailed Dementyeva 5-2 in the second set and faced match point in the next game, but Dementyeva dumped a return into the net. That triggered a sudden reversal, and Safina lost only one more game the rest of the way.

Against Sharapova, Safina also lost the first set, trailed 5-2 in the second and faced a match point in the next game.

Her opponent Thursday will be another Russian, 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who recovered from her own slow start to beat unseeded Kaia Kanepi 7-5, 6-2. Kuznetsova was runner-up at Roland Garros to Justine Henin in 2006.

The other semifinal will be all-Serbian, with No. 2-seeded Ana Ivanovic playing No. 3 Jelena Jankovic. Ivanovic beat Patty Schnyder 6-3, 6-2 Tuesday, and Jankovic defeated unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro by the same score.