Tokyo, Japan (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and two-time
champion Maria Sharapova were among Wednesday's third-round winners at the
$2.17 million Pan Pacific Open tennis event.
The Australian Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up Azarenka dropped 14th-
seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-2, while the second-seeded French Open
champion and former No. 1 Sharapova got past 16th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova
6-2, 7-6 (7-5) in 1 hour, 43 minutes on the hardcourts at Ariake Colosseum.
The Australian Open runner-up and Olympic silver medalist Sharapova needed
over three hours to win her second-round match on Tuesday.
"After a long match yesterday I was really happy to win in two sets,"
Sharapova said. "I had a bit of a letdown in the second set but was really
happy that I could close it out in the tiebreaker."
Up next for Azarenka will be fifth-seeded German left-hander Angelique Kerber,
while the 2005 and 2009 Pan Pacific titlist Sharapova will meet eighth-seeded
Aussie Samantha Stosur in Thursday's quarterfinals. Kerber whipped Pole
Urszula Radwanska 6-1, 6-1, while Stosur handled 12th-seeded Slovak Dominika
Cibulkova 6-4, 7-5 on Day 4 in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, third-seeded and defending Tokyo titlist Agnieszka Radwanska rolled
past American qualifier Jamie Hampton 6-4, 6-3 and surging 10th-seeded Dane
Caroline Wozniacki upended seventh-seeded Chinese star Li Na 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Radwanska beat Russian Vera Zvonareva in last year's finale here. Wozniacki is
fresh off her first title of the year last week in Seoul and was a Pan Pacific
champion in 2010.
Also on Wednesday, sixth-seeded French Open runner-up Sara Errani of Italy
overcame ninth-seeded French slugger Marion Bartoli 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 and
17th-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova doused Croat Petra Martic 7-6 (7-2), 6-7
Thursday's other quarters will pit Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska
against Wozniacki and Errani versus Petrova.
The Sports Network