Istanbul - Petra Kvitova dominated top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki at the WTA Championships on Thursday, winning 6-4, 6-2 to hand the Dane her second loss at the season-ending tournament.
Kvitova earned an early break in the first set and never looked troubled the rest of the way, hitting 36 winners compared to just six for Wozniacki, who never earned a break point.
The Czech Wimbledon champion broke two more times in the second set before clinching the victory with a backhand winner.
Kvitova improved her record to 2-0 in the round-robin phase, while Wozniacki fell to 1-2 after also losing to Vera Zvonareva on Wednesday. Wozniacki still wrapped up the year-end No 1 ranking after Maria Sharapova withdrew from the tournament with an ankle injury following her second loss on Wednesday.
Earlier on Thursday, Victoria Azarenka became the first player to qualify for the semi-finals after a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 win over Li Na.
Azarenka followed her win over US Open champion Sam Stosur with a victory by the same scoreline over Li, the French Open winner.
"I think she's a very, very tough opponent," Azarenka said about Li. "Especially if you give her one rhythm, she's really solid and she can stay and outpower anybody. So I had to adjust, because the last two meetings that we had she really took advantage of me playing the same way ... I had to change something and be more creative today."
Li has a 1-1 record in the White Group after an opening win against Sharapova.
Li will play Stosur on Friday, with the winner advancing to the quarter-finals. Azarenka is set to play Marion Bartoli, who replaced Sharapova, in a match that is essentially meaningless.
"I'm just going to try to use that match to work more on my game and improve little things that I could have done better today," Azarenka said. "So I'm just going to use it as an advantage for me and try my best. I always do. When I'm on the court I'm 100 percent."
Results from third day of the season-ending WTA Championships on Thursday:
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Li Na (CHN) 6-2, 6-2
Petra Kvitova (CZE) bt Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6-4, 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) bt Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 1-6, 6-2, 7-5