Sydney - Former No 1 Caroline Wozniacki's streak of not
advancing past the quarter-finals in her past seven Sydney Internationals was
extended in stifling heat on Wednesday.
In temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius for much of the
match, Wozniacki lost 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-4 to Barbora Strycova in a duel that
stretched to 3 hours, 19 minutes.
Both players were treated for foot injuries during a gruelling
second set on Ken Rosewall Arena. Wozniacki came back from 5-2 down in that
set, and then 5-0 in the tiebreaker, to win it and force a third set.
"It was brutal out there ... but you just try and think
like you're on a beach drinking pina coladas," Wozniacki said.
"That's basically your train of thought. You know that it's the same for
both players, so I was just trying to mentally just try and keep cool."
Strycova will meet the winner of the night match between
second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and qualifier Duan Yingying.
Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard continued her
strong start to the year with a 6-2, 6-3 quarterfinal win over Anastasia
Bouchard had a breakout season in 2014, reaching the semi-finals
at the Australian Open and French Open before making the final at Wimbledon.
But she has only gone past the fourth round at a major once since then and slipped
to No 46 at the end of last year.
The Canadian's semi-final opponent will be Sydney-born
Johanna Konta of Britain, who beat Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-5. Konta broke
Kasatkina's service in the 11th game, helped by a double-fault to set up break
point in that game.
Last year at the Australian Open, Konta became the first
British women to make a Grand Slam semi since 1983 before losing to eventual
champion Angelique Kerber.
At Auckland, New Zealand, American John Isner narrowly
avoided the fate of two former champions when he beat Tunisia's Malek Jaziri in
a third-set tiebreaker to advance 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6) to make the quarterfinals
of the ASB Classic.
Isner won his last three points with volleys at the net.
"The way I need to finish points is that if I can I
have to try and finish them at the net," Isner said. "I did that
three times in a row and I'm very proud of that."
Four former champions were scheduled to play second-round
matches on Wednesday but by the time the second-seeded Isner took the court, two
had bowed out.
Defending champion and No. 1-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut
was forced to withdraw before play began because of a stomach virus, handing
New Zealander Ruben Statham a place in the second round as a lucky loser from
the qualifying rounds.
The 2015 champion Jiri Vesely was due to play Bautista Agut
and thought he had caught a break when the Spaniard withdrew and the
434th-ranked Statham took his place. But Vesely had a tussle on his hands
before winning 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-3.
Four-time champion David Ferrer was first up on centre court
and lost 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4) to Robin Haase of the Netherlands.
At the WTA's Hobart International, former French Open
finalist Lucie Safarova was beaten 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 by Japanese qualifier Risa
Ozaki will next meet Romanian Monica Niculescu.
Top-seeded Kiki Bertens advanced to the quarterfinals with a
6-1, 6-4 win over Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.