Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stosur advances alongside Azarenka

Updated February 17, 2012 09:00:00

Samantha Stosur joined world number one Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open by ousting Czech Republic's Petra Cetkovska.

Stosur took down her opponent 6-3, 6-2 and will play Romanian Monica Niculescu who defeated Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

Azarenka impressed with a swift demolition of another Romanian in Simona Halep.

Belarusian Azarenka, the Australian Open champion, won 10 games in a row on the way to beating the 63rd-ranked Halep 6-3, 6-1.

Meanwhile Lucie Safarova, who had knocked out the second seed Caroline Wozniacki, sent former US and French Open champion and 14th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova packing with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 victory.

Kuznetsova was the 12th of the 16 seeds in the 64-player draw to crash out of the event over the first four days.

Safarova will play Marion Bartoli in the quarters after the French fifth seed eliminated Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-3.

Halep produced only brief moments of brilliance to secure a break in either set, but that was not enough to quell Azarenka, who stepped up her game after trailing 3-1 in the first set and raced to victory thereafter.

"I started slow but I am glad I turned it around," said Azarenka, the first Belarusian to win a grand slam tournament and take the world number one ranking.

She could have won the second set at love, but suffered a glitch in the sixth game when she was broken by the Romanian.

But Azarenka broke back in the next game to clinch the issue.

"I kept my composure," said Azarenka, who will now meet Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in the quarter-finals. Wickmayer defeated Kazakhstan's Ksenia Pervak 6-4, 6-0.

"I never played her before. It was about adjusting a little bit to her game style. I don't think I really played the right way those first three games, four games.

"But then I started to get my rhythm more and I put more pressure on her and really focussed more on myself rather than on her game," Azarenka added.

"She brings a lot of balls back. At the beginning I was rushing too much trying to finish the point in maybe two shots."

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska fought back from a break down to advance to the last eight with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Varvara Lepchenko of the USA.

Israeli Shahar Peer's quest for a first title in the Middle East ended prematurely.

Peer, whose participation in events in the Gulf has often generated a furore, was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 by American Christina McHale.


Tags: tennis, sport, qatar, australia

First posted February 17, 2012 09:00:00

View the original article here

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