Jelena Dokic let out a huge yelp of delight after outgunning fifth seed Nadia Petrova 6-4, 7-6 at the Paris Open on Thursday to book a meeting with Kim Clijsters in the last eight.
The Australian, who has fallen so far from her career-high ranking of No. 4 in 2002 that she had to qualify for the first round, looked the better player throughout on the hardcourt against the 2007 winner.
“I feel good, it’s a great start to the year for me. I’m getting better and better,” Dokic, who surprised last year’s runner-up Lucie Safarova in the first round, said courtside.
“I have nothing to lose against Kim. She’s No. 2, almost No. 1 in the world, so I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it,” she said.
In other matches Estonian third seed Kaia Kanepi knocked out Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson 6-3 6-4, while Petra Kvitova outwitted fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-4, 6-7, 7-6.
Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium beat another Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-3 and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic defeated Kristina Kucova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-2.
AP, SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA
Juan Martin del Potro set two milestones in his straight sets victory over Lukas Lacko at the SAP Open on Thursday, but only one will be recorded in official statistics.
The one that counts is that the 6-1, 7-6 (1) victory put him through to the quarter-finals of a tournament for the first time since his career was derailed by a nagging wrist injury last year.
The other? For the first time in his life, he managed to knock the net off its moorings with the power of his serve.
The hard-hitting Argentine was due to face Lleyton Hewitt yesterday for a spot in the semi-finals after Hewitt eliminated Argentina’s Brian Dabul 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Earlier, Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin advanced with a 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) victory over American Michael Russell and Tim Smyczek of the US outlasted Kei Nishikori 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Top seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain defeated big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 7-5, while Gael Monfils of France had a surprisingly tough struggle to beat American Robert Kendrick 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
AP, COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL
Top-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain defeated Portugal’s Rui Machado 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the Brazil Open semi-finals.
However, third-seeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci was bounced out 6-2, 6-1 by No. 5 seed Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina.
Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine defeated Italy’s Potito Starace 6-3, 6-4, while unseeded Brazilian Ricardo Mello reached the semis of his home tournament for a second straight year by dispatching Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-1, 6-0 in 58 minutes.