Anna def. Kostanic Article
Anna Kournikova has edged close to a first tour title with victory over Jelena Kostanic in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Open on Friday.
The Russian, seeded number four, made it into her fourth semi-final of the year with a 7-5 6-4 win after coming from behind in both sets.
"She was the lucky one today," said Kournikova.
"I tried to use her weak spots and I think that worked a lot for me. She couldn't really hurt me a lot.
"Today I caught myself thinking on the court, 'I'm having fun'.
"I just had to make her move and play it out."
Failure to land a title has proved a constant embarrassment for Kournikova, who remains one of the highest-paid women on tour through advertising contracts.
The 21-year-old has played in three finals on the tour, but the last was over two years ago in Moscow.
Kournikova meets second seed Ai Sugiyama next, after the Japanese player beat Italy's Adriana Serra Zanetti 6-1 6-3.
"I'm going to have to play aggressive and use my game, because she's going to be very consistent," said Kournikova of the semi-final.
"She's going to be like a wall, I'm going to have to figure out how to break her game apart.
"She's a fighter."