Kuznetsova, Dementieva advance to last eight

Stuttgart, October 5 :

Third-seeded Elena Dementieva overcame cramps, unforced errors and Katarina Srebotnik to reach the quarter-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix with a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 win.

Also into the last eight was second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, the former US Open champion who swept past German wild card Martina Mueller 6-1, 6-4.

In first-round action, Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic, who lost in qualifying but replaced an injured Ana Ivanovic in the draw, advanced when seventh-seeded Francesca Schiavone of Italy retired with a right wrist injury while trailing 6-3, 6-7 (5), 3-0, and eighth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia beat 1993 champion and two-time runner-up Mary Pierce of France 7-6 (7), 6-3.

Coming off a first-round bye, Dementieva had to rally from 6-4, 4-1 down before extending her perfect record against Srebotnik to 6-0.

Serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set, Dementieva slumped to the court clutching her left thigh. After receiving about five minutes of treatment, the Russian committed one of her 11 double faults and dropped her serve.

But she broke right back and then closed out the match with a forehand winner on her second match point. From a 4-1 deficit in the second set, Dementieva won six of the next seven games and leveled the match. She and Srebotnik traded breaks at the start of the third, then the Slovenian dropped hers again to give Dementieva the 5-4 lead.

Fellow Russian Kuznetsova, seeking her fourth title this year, broke Muller three times and won 30 of 34 points on her first serve. A backhand error by Pierce gave Jankovic the first set. She quickly broke for 2-1 in the second and rode that advantage to clinch the match with a forehand winner.

Pierce has missed most of the season with right foot and ankle injuries, and was playing only her sixth tournament of the year. The two-time Grand Slam winner has seen her ranking drop from No 3 to 17, one below Jankovic.

Also in the first round, Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria beat Karolina Sprem of Croatia 6-1, 6-4 in a showdown between two qualifiers, and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia defeated qualifier Sybille Bammer of Austria 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

Japan Open :

TOKYO: World number one Roger Federer produced a near flawless display to demolish defending champion Wesley Moodie and reach the Japan Open quarter-finals.

The Swiss top seed, who was forced to work hard to beat Serbian qualifier Fernando Vicente on Wednesday, raced to a lopsided 6-2, 6-1 victory over the 73rd ranked South African.

Japan’s wild card entrant Takao Suzuki earned a place against Federer when he staved off several match points in the second set before beating Alexander Waske of Germany 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (12/10), 6-1.

Earlier, France’s Youlia Fedossova led the charge into the women’s singles quarter-finals by beating local hope Akiko Morigami 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Former world doubles number one Ai Sugiyama of Japan joined Fedossova in the last eight when she defeated American Vania King 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.