Azarenka, Sharapova reach Pan Pacific Open quarterfinal
Tokyo, Japan (4E Sports) – Top seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reached the quarterfinal round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over 14th seed Roberta Vinci of Italy Wednesday.
The world No. 1 will challenge No. 5 Angelique Kerber, who rolled past Urszula Radwanska, 6-1, 6-1, for a spot in the semifinal round of the tournament that offers total cash pot of $2,168,400.
Second seed Maria Sharapova of Russia followed suit with 6-2, 7-6 (5) win over Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. Sharapova was leading 3-0 in the second set but the Czech bounced back and forced tiebreak.
Sharapova will next face Australian eighth seed Samantha Stosur, who prevailed over 12th seed Dominika Cibulkova, 6-4, 7-5.
“It’s nice to be winning some matches here in Tokyo again,” Stosur said. “The last couple of years I’ve lost my opening matches here, so to come back this year and win two matches against two good players is really satisfying.”
Tenth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark won six of the last eight games after going down 2-0 in the third set to carve out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over seventh seed Li Na of China.
“After the first set of my first match my energy level dropped, but since then I’ve been feeling great,” Wozniacki said. “Today, Li Na was playing very close to the baseline and pushing me away, taking the balls very early – she was all over me. But in the second set I really started to step in and push her away.”
Fresh from winning her first WTA title of the year in Seoul, the former World No. 1 Wozniacki has now won eight matches in a row. She will clash with No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat American qualifier Jamie Hampton, 6-4, 6-3.
In other matches, Sara Errani beat Marion Bartoli, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 and No.17 seed Nadia Petrova defeated Petra Martic, 7-6(2), 6-7 (1), 6-4.
Meanwhile, world No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic powered into the quarterfinals of the Thailand Open by dismissing Japanese qualifier Hiroki Moriya, 6-4, 6-4.
Seventh seed Jarkko Nieminen also reached the quarterfinal by defeating Germany’s Philipp Petzschner, 7-6(1), 6-2 while World No. 45 Gael Monfils battled into the second round with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Kevin Anderson.
Croatian Ivo Karlovic defeated Marinko Matosevic of Australia, 6-3, 6-4, to arrange a second-round meeting against third-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic.
Japan’s Go Soeda will face fourth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon in the second round after defeating Thai wild card Danai Udomchoke 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 51 minutes.
At the Malaysian Open, fifth seed Feliciano Lopez opened his campaign with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Slovakian Lukas Lacko.
Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. will challenge top seed David Ferrer of Spain in the second round after beating British qualifier Dominic Inglot, 7-5, 6-3, in 77 minutes.
Former World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, who won the inaugural Malaysian Open in 2009, defeated Indian lucky loser Sanam Singh, 7-5, 6-3, to advance to the second round against Uzbekistani Denis Istomin.
Istomin earlier knocked out sixth seed Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes.
World No. 61 Alejandro Falla of Colombia was leading No. 93-ranked Rajeev Ram, 7-6(4), 4-2, when the American retired due to a hamstring injury after 83 minutes of play. Falla now plays fourth-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Canadian Vasek Pospisil became the first player to reach the quarterfinal when he beat Michael Yani, an American qualifier, 6-3, 7-5, in one hour and 51 minutes.
Seventh seed Julien Benneteau also reached the last eight as he defeated Australia’s Matthew Ebden 7-5, 6-2.