Vera Zvonareva edged closer to a third successive grand slam final by moving into the last four of the Australian Open today.
The Russian, who made the title match at both Wimbledon and the US Open last year, was too strong for Petra Kvitova, coming through 6-2, 6-4 despite a second set wobble.
Zvonareva, the No 2 seed, will play the winner of the match between Kim Clijsters and Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals.
It looked like she would make quick work of Kvitova when she raced through the first set, breaking three times, before establishing a 3-0 lead in the second.
But an incident in the crowd, which saw a lady treated by medical staff, followed by another interruption while nearby cannons greeted Australia Day, threw Zvonareva off track.
Kvitova, who knocked out the home favourite Sam Stosur in round-three, hit back with two breaks to go 4-3 up before Zvonareva regained her composure.
She broke for 4-4 and then again to claim the match when the Czech lashed a forehand long.
“Petra has improved a lot and she has had a great run here,” said Zvonareva.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match so I just tried to hang in there and stay aggressive.”
On the second set distractions, she added: “I didn’t know they (the cannons) were going to start during the match, it was difficult.
“And then I don’t think someone was feeling right in the crowd. It was difficult but the chair umpire said we had to play on.
“It was all a bit distracting but I just tried to stay focused.”