WTA Tour

In-form Kvitova downs Azarenka to reach St Petersburg quarters

2019-01-30 20:30
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova (AP)

St Petersburg - Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova continued her strong run of form with a straight-sets win over former world number one Victoria Azarenka to reach the quarter-finals in Saint Petersburg on Wednesday.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, who rose to world number two after her Melbourne final loss to Naomi Osaka last Saturday, prevailed 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).

She led 5-1 in the second set and missed two match points before ending an Azarenka comeback in a tie-break.

"I really wanted to finish (the match) earlier, but unfortunately I had to fight back in the second set and then I did quite well in the tie-break," said Kvitova.

Two-time Australian Open winner Azarenka, who has tumbled down the rankings since the birth of her son Leo and an ensuing custody battle, has still not reached a WTA final since winning the 2016 Miami Open.

In the quarter-finals, Kvitova will face eighth-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia, who cruised past lucky loser Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-3.

Elsewhere, Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva battled back from a set down to beat fifth seed Julia Goerges of Germany 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 as she looks to rediscover the form which took her to the 2010 Wimbledon and US Open finals.

The 34-year-old, now ranked 97th, will next face third seed Daria Kasatkina, who is yet to play a match in the tournament having enjoyed an opening-round bye before advancing after Maria Sharapova pulled out with a shoulder injury.

Results from the Saint Petersburg WTA tournament on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):

2nd rd

Petra Kvitova (CZE x1) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Donna Vekic (CRO x8) bt Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 6-4, 6-3

Daria Kasatkina (RUS x3) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS) -- walkover

Vera Zvonareva (RUS) bt Julia Goerges (GER x5) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

1st rd

Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) bt Katie Boulter (GBR) 7-5, 4-6, 6-1


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