SYDNEY — Former world No.1 Angelique Kerber continued her strong start to the season by advancing to the Sydney International semifinals with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Dominika Cibulkova on Thursday.

Kerber, who began last year at the top of the rankings before finishing at No. 22, won her seventh straight match of 2018, including four singles at the Hopman Cup last week.

“This start is not bad, for sure,” Kerber said.

Kerber will play Camila Giorgi in the semifinals. Giorgi beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2.

Ashleigh Barty also advanced, 6-3, 6-2 over Barbora Strycova.

She will play fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova, who had a walkover win over Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza when the Spanish player withdrew from her quarterfinal with a right thigh injury.

In men’s quarterfinals, fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini beat No. 5 Adrian Mannarino 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-2, Daniil Medvedev defeated Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-3, and Benoit Paire beat second-seeded Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-4.

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