Serena cruises in Stanford, Szavay battles in Gastein
A tale of two top seeds: Williams made light work of Patty Schnyder, while Szavay had to come back from the brink twice...
Top seed Serena Williams looks to have transferred her impressive 2008 form to the American hard courts as she cruised to the semi-finals of the Stanford Classic.
The American beat Patty Schnyder 6-3 6-1 and, although she struggled with her serve at times hitting five double faults she played comfortably better than the Swiss.
“You have to be quick against Patty because she’s such a big shotmaker you never know what’s going to happen,” said Williams, who had lost to Schnyder in three of their past five meetings.
But Schnyder could not find her range against Williams, who now faces Alexandra Wozniack after the Canadian came through a tight quarter-final to beat Sam Stosur for the second time in a week.
The pair had met in the qualifying rounds for the Bank of West Classic, with Wozniack advancing by right and the Australian reaching the main draw as a lucky loser.
But after pulling off what was then the tournaments biggest upset by beating Vera Zvonareva in the last 16, Stosur couldnt reverse the result against Wozniack, eventually losing 6-2 5-7 6-4.
The Australian even lost her claim to the tournaments shock result, as defending champion Anna Chakvetadze was sent crashing out in straight sets by Marion Bartoli.
The 23-year-old Frenchwoman, who defeated British No.1 Anne Keothavong in the second round, won 6-3 6-4 and will now meet Ai Sugiyama in the semi-final after the Japanese produced an unlikely comeback.
A set and 5-2 down against Dominika Cibulkova, Sugiyama looked to be out of it but the Slovakian 19-year-olds game suddenly deserted her, possibly owing to injury.
Cibulkova received a medical time out when down 5-3 in the final set but could not finish the match.
In the Gastein Ladies in Austria, top seed Agnes Szavay survived four match points and produced two comebacks before eventually beating Austrian Melanie Klaffner 3-6 7-6(8) 7-6(3) in the second round of the heavily rain-affected tournament.
The 18-year-old Klaffner, No.320 in the world, won the opening set with a single break and lead 5-2 in both the second and final sets. But Szavay broke back each time, and converted her first match point in the second tiebreak.
The world No.14 Hungarian will face Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic in the quarters after the No.7 seed defeated Galina Voskoboeva 6-4 4-6 6-1.
Benesova won five straight games to wrap up the victory after rain had suspended the match at 1-1 in the final set on Thursday.
Mariya Koryttseva upset Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 4-6 7-6(5). The No.3 seed broke Koryttseva’s serve seven times, but missed 14 other break points as the Russian battled to stay in the match.
Koryttseva will play Tereza Hladikova in the quarter-finals, after the Czech beat Croatian Karolina Sprem 6-3 1-6 6-4.
Pauline Parmentier eached the quarter-finals after edging past Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-5 4-6 6-4. The Frenchwoman will now face Yvonne Meusburger of Austria.
Meusburger, who lost last year’s final to Francesca Schiavone, converted seven of 19 break points to beat Estonia’s Maret Ani 6-2 2-6 6-3.
Lucie Hradecka became the third Czech player to reach the quarter-finals by defeating No.5 seed Timea Bacsinszky 6-1 6-4.