Australian top seed Samantha Stosur earned a quarter-final spot at the Kremlin Cup with a straight-sets win over France’s Alize Cornet on Thursday.
In the men’s section, French qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin produced a big upset as he survived four match points before seeing off Ukraine’s top seed Alexander Dolgopolov in a tough third-set tiebreak.
Stosur, who is ninth in the WTA rankings, prevailed 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 in two hours 28 minutes to draw her head-to-head record with the 22-year-old Cornet level at 2-2.
“We always play tough against each other,” Stosur said. “But we haven’t met for a long time and we have both seriously improved our tennis since our last meeting.”
“Today I had plenty of opportunities and chances to finish the points off. And it was important to believe I was doing everything right to receive the win as a reward,” she said.
The rivals traded breaks twice in the opening set to force a tiebreak which Stosur won to gain a one-set lead in one hour 21 minutes.
In the second set there was little between the pair but the 28-year-old Stosur got the deciding break in the 11th game to take the set and the match.
Stosur will now face Czech Klara Zakopalova for a place in the semis.
Fourth seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia cruised comfortably into the last eight with a 6-1, 6-4 win over 19-year-old local qualifier Valeria Solovieva.
Seventh seed Maria Kirilenko, the last Russian player in the field, beat Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-4 to make the quarter-finals.
Roger-Vasselin, 116th in the ATP rankings, advanced into the quarter-finals of the men’s tournament with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (8/6) win over Dolgopolov and next faces Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic, who ousted Alex Bogomolov of Russia, for a place in the last four.
Italian second seed Andreas Seppi beat Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-5, 6-2 to meet eighth seed Tatsuma Ito for a place in the semis.
Argentina’s seventh-seeded Carlos Berlocq missed out on a quarter-final place, suffering a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to unheralded Pole Jerzy Janowicz, who is 74th in the ATP rankings.
Second seed Janko Tipsarevic reached the Austrian Open quarter-finals on Thursday while Tommy Haas made personal history by winning his 500th career match.
Tipsarevic enjoyed a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Ernests Gulbis and tried to put the race for the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals out of his mind.
The Serb said that standing provisional ninth in the chase for the eight-man London showpiece means that he must focus constantly on the court.
“I try not to think of anything before me or behind me,” he said of the race in which he has a 400-point cushion against a pack of trailing rivals.
“I cannot be affected by the fact that everyone is chasing me. All I can do is stay completely focussed on every point of every match. I cannot think about being ahead or behind,” he said.
German third seed Haas, 34, joined an elite group of active players comprising Roger Federer (871 wins), Rafael Nadal (583) and Lleyton Hewitt on 566 who have won 500 matches. Haas achieved the mark by beating American Jesse Levine 6-4, 6-2.
The all-time match-win leader is Jimmy Connors (1,243 wins) followed by Ivan Lendl (1,071), Guillermo Vilas (923) and John McEnroe (875).
Meanwhile, Australia’s Marinko Matosevic knocked out the last home player when he defeated Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) to set up a quarter-final with top seed Juan Martin del Potro.
Matosevic, ranked 55 in the world, will be playing his fifth quarter-final of the season when he faces Argentine star del Potro, who fought for just over three hours to win his opening match on Wednesday.
Slovenia’s Grega Zemlja shattered Australian hopes of seeing two players in the quarter-finals when he defeated Matthew Ebden 7-5, 6-4.
Tomas Berdych reached the quarter-finals at the Stockholm Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Estonia’s Jurgen Zopp on Thursday.
The Czech will next face Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny and remains in line to qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Top seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, also hoping to qualify for London, advanced with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) win over Go Soeda of Japan. The Frenchman faces Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine in the quarter-finals after Stakhovsky beat Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, 7-6 (5), 7-5.
Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus advanced when Alejandro Falla of Colombia retired because of a left foot injury while trailing 6-0, 3-0. Baghdatis next faces Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis.
Top-seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy reached the Luxembourg Open quarter-finals by beating Anne Keothavong of Britain 6-4, 6-1.
Venus Williams, playing her first tournament since the US Open, also advanced with a tough 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 victory over German Mona Barthel.
Andrea Petkovic of Germany defeated third-seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-0, while Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia defeated Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
In another second-round match, Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan beat sixth-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania 7-6 (4), 6-1.