Tokyo - World number one Victoria Azarenka
pulled out of the Pan Pacific Open citing chronic fatigue, while Maria
Sharapova was bundled out by Samantha Stosur as the tournament lost its
top two seeds on Thursday.
French Open champion Sharapova, twice a
Tokyo winner, was upset by Australian Stosur 6-4 7-6 in a quarter-final
filled with drama and high-quality tennis.
before her quarter-final with Germany's Angelique Kerber after coming
into the WTA premier five event complaining of health issues.
Belarusian, who won this year's Australian Open and reached the final
of the US Open earlier this month, had struggled to complete her third
round match the previous day.
"Before the tournament I wasn't
feeling very good," said Azarenka, who had her blood pressure checked
during Wednesday's win over Roberta Vinci.
"I had low energy and I
wasn't myself. It wasn't possible today. Maybe it was tiredness from
the whole season. It's a little bit unknown what it is."
next faces Russian Nadia Petrova, who ousted sixth seed Sara Errani 3-6
7-5 6-3 after battling back from a set and 4-1 down against her Italian
Eighth seed Stosur had won just one of her previous 11
meetings with Sharapova but seized the initiative by taking the first
set when the Russian blasted a backhand long.
The Australian was
taken to a tiebreak in the second after leading 5-3 but won a nail-biter
12-10 on her fifth match point after a wild forehand from Sharapova.
"When you don't take a few (chances) in a row you don't know what's
going to happen," said Stosur, last year's US Open champion. "But I
just kept trying to go for it and thankfully it paid off."