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                     === Petrova captures group at TOC ===
 
 Sofia,  Bulgaria (Sports  Network) -  Nadia  Petrova went  3-0 in  round-robin
 play  and  captured  her  group  this  week  at  the  $750,000  Tournament  of
 Champions.
 
 The  second-seeded Russian  was perfect  in the  four-player Sredets  Group in
 Sofia  after  coming from  behind to beat  eighth-seeded heavy Bulgarian crowd
 favorite  Tsvetana  Pironkova, 5-7, 6-1,  6-3, Friday on the indoor hardcourts
 at  Armeets  Arena. Pironkova  (1-2), like Petrova,  had already qualified for
 Saturday's semifinals at this season-ending event.
 
 Petrova's  semifinal  opponent will  be  fourth-seeded  Italian Roberta  Vinci
 (2-1), while Pironkova should have her hands full with top-seeded former world
 No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki (3-0).
 
 Wozniacki captured this week's four-player Serdika Group.
 
 Also  on  Friday, fifth-seeded Taiwanese  Su-Wei Hsieh (1-2) held off seventh-
 seeded  Slovakian  veteran Daniela  Hantuchova,  6-1,  0-6, 6-4,  and  Swedish
 alternate  Sofia Arvidsson (1-0) was leading sixth-seeded Zheng Jie (0-3) when
 the Chinese retired from their bout while trailing 1-5 in the first set due to
 an  upper respiratory  illness. Hantuchova, like Zheng, went a dismal 0-3 this
 week. Arvidsson replaced ill third-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko (1-1) in the
 eight-woman field on Thursday.
 
 The  Tournament of Champions is the finale for the WTA's International Series,
 with  the six  highest-ranked players who have won an International title this
 year   --  and  two  wild  cards  --  comprising  an  eight-woman  field.  The
 Serdika  Group  boasted Wozniacki,  Vinci,  Hsieh  and Hantuchova,  while  the
 four-player  Sredets  Group featured  Petrova, Zheng, Pironkova and Arvidsson,
 following Kirilenko's withdrawal.
 
 The  tournament  format sees  two round-robin  groups play  out over the first
 four days, with the semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday.
 
 
 11/02 16:58:48 ET