Top seed Wozniacki reaches quarterfinals

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Top seed Wozniacki reaches quarterfinals

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Lee So-ra of Korea returns the ball to Tamira Paszek of Austria in a second-round match of the KDB Korea Open at Olympic Park in Seoul, yesterday. [YONHAP]

No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the quarterfinals of the KDB Korea Open tennis tournament here Thursday.

At the only annual Women’s Tennis Association stop in Korea, Wozniacki defeated Caroline Garcia of France 6-2, 6-3.

After easily taking the opening set, Wozniacki, ranked 11th in the world, took a 4-1 lead in the second set. But Garcia won the next two games to cut the deficit to one.

Wozniacki broke Garcia’s serve to lead 5-3, and battled the French to the deuce before claiming the decisive game.

Wozniacki, a former No. 1 WTA player, will face Klara Zakopalova of Czech Republic in the quarters on Friday. Zakopalova, seeded seventh here, beat Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-1, 7-6 (6).

Zakopalov was the runner-up in singles in 2010 and a semifinalist last year.

In the day’s other second round contests, Tamira Paszek of Austria defeated Lee So-ra of Korea 6-2, 6-0, and Varvara Lepchenko of the U.S. beat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-4, 6-1.

Paszek and Lepchenko will meet in the quarters Friday. Lee, 18, was the only Korean left in the singles competition at the Korea Open. She had made it to the second round after her first round opponent, second-seeded Maria Kirilenko, retired from their match with a back injury on Wednesday.

The injury bug bit another seeded player Thursday. Nadia Petrova of Russia, seeded fourth, withdrew from the tournament with back pains before her second round match against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain. In another second round match, Ekaterina Makarova of Russia edged Jamie Hampton of the U.S. 6-3, 7-5, setting up a quarterfinal showdown against Martinez Sanchez.

Hampton, whose mother is Korean, won the first three games of the first set before conceding the next three. She only managed to win one of her seven break points.

Kaia Kanepi, the No. 3 seed from Estonia, and Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands will also meet in the quarters Friday. They had reached the final eight on Wednesday. The Korea Open started in 2004, and the total purse was raised from $220,000 to $500,000 this year.

Yonhap

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