Originally written March 14, 2013 on Tennis Grand Stand:
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Maria Kirilenko has reached the semifinals at Indian Wells for the first time in her career. “So I’m just enjoying, you know, to play out there.” Perhaps Maria Kirilenko has enjoyed playing tennis under the scenic desert skies of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden just a bit too much. Kirilenko won her fourth consecutive three-set match at Indian Wells against Petra Kvitova on Wednesday, advancing to the semifinals of a WTA Premier Mandatory event for the first time. In those four consecutive victories against Christina McHale, Mallory Burdette, Agnieszka Radwanska and Kvitova, Kirilenko has logged a whopping nine hours and 31 minutes on court. Having turned professional in 2001, Kirilenko was long considered just another “glamor girl” of women’s tennis. She was “the other Maria from Russia,” the original face of the Adidas by Stella McCartney line, and also appeared in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. On the court, the Russian has always been dangerous, but rarely had a chan...
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