Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic plays a shot to Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria during their women's singles match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
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Juan Martin del Potro continued his encouraging buildup to the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals of the Sydney International Thursday, but women's contender Petra Kvitova was stunned by a Bulgarian qualifier in the last four.World No. 5 Del Potro was dragged into a scrap by Radek Stepanek and needed to recover from a mid-match meltdown before fending off the Czech veteran 6-4 3-6 6-3 to set up a clash with 2008 champion Dmitry Tursunov.Fiery Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis famously destroyed four of his rackets during a loss against Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka at the 2012 Australian Open, and Del Potro said he had been similarly tempted when struggling against Stepanek.
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