Moscow magic from Gasquet
Moscow - Top seed Richard Gasquet stayed on course for a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals when he reached the Kremlin Cup quarter-finals on Thursday with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Russia's Evgeny Donskoy.
The 27-year-old Frenchman, who is making his debut in Moscow, broke for 3-0 on his way to clinching the first set in 37 minutes.
Donskoy, the world number 84, levelled the tie before world number 10 Gasquet broke his rival's serve twice to take the decider and the match in one hour 44 minutes.
"It's my first time at this tournament but I've been here in Moscow twice before playing in the Davis Cup and I have good memories from that visits," Gasquet said.
"I have experience and I just added power in the beginning of the third set and I managed to break him for a 3-0 lead and that made the difference."
In the WTA section of the event, last year's runner-up and seventh seed Samantha Stosur of Australia advanced into the quarter-finals, beating Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, 6-4, 6-1.
"I thought it was going to be a tough one, because we have played long and tiring matches before," Stosur said.
"But I did what I had to do. I made her play more balls when I had a chance to attack deep, so overall it was a pretty solid match."
In the last eight, Stosur will face 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic who saw off unseeded Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 6-1.
"It wasn't an easy match for me," said Ivanovic, who lost to Stosur in the semi-finals last year.
"I really started well. But she's a skilled player and the second set was much tougher that the scoreline indicates but I added power in the important moments and was very pleased to win."
Speaking about Friday's match with Stosur, Ivanovic said: "She's a very tough opponent. She plays differently than lots of other girls. She has a lot of kick, a lot of power.
"It was a very tough match with her in the semi-finals here last year. This year we are meeting a little bit more early and I really hope I can make a revenge."
Results on day four of the ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Richard Gasquet (FRA x1) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) bt Dudi Sela (ISR) 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Denis Istomin (UZB x5) 6-3, 6-7 (10/12), 7-6 (8/6)
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Aleksandr Dolgopolov (UKR x4) 6-4, 6-4
Samantha Stosur (AUS x7) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-4, 6-1
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) bt Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 6-3, 6-1