Wozniacki loses, Kvitova into Sydney
SYDNEY - The Associated Press
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark reacts during her match against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia at the Sydney International tennis tournament January 10, 2012. REUTERS PhotoCaroline Wozniacki lost her quarterfinal at the Sydney International on Wednesday, opening the way for Petra Kvitova to take over the No. 1 ranking before next week's Australian Open.
Wozniacki, who needed a medical timeout in the final set to have her left wrist taped, lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to seventh-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
In the preceding match at the Olympic Tennis Centre, Wimbledon champion and No. 2 Kvitova continued her pursuit of the top ranking by beating Daniela Hantuchova 6-0, 6-4 to move into the semifinals against French Open winner Li Na, who beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 7-6 (3).
No. 3-ranked Victoria Azarenka beat No. 9-ranked Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-4 and will play Radwanska in the other semifinal on Thursday.
Wozniacki's win in the opening set came among five service breaks between the players, and Wozniacki served for the match at 5-4 in the second before Radwanska began her comeback.
The Danish player seemed to be increasingly bothered by what television commentators said was a sore tendon in her left wrist, and she had it heavily taped after the third game of the final set.
Kvitova, who helped the Czech Republic win the Hopman Cup on the weekend, needed just over an hour to beat Hantuchova, the losing finalist last week at the Brisbane International. She can get to No. 1 by winning the Sydney tournament.
"I'm still on track," Kvitova said of the top ranking. "But still, it's two matches away and the next one is really tough. It's still a long way away, so we will see." Defending champion Li reached the Australian Open final last year before becoming the first player from China to win a Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros.
"Of course I'm feeling good," Li said. "I won in Sydney last year and this year I'm in the semis. It's just the beginning of the year, and I'm feeling much, much stronger." The two evening quarterfinals were delayed by a power outage at the 2000 Olympics venue.
In the men's draw, top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro had an easy straight-sets win in his opening match, while second-seeded John Isner was beaten by fellow American Bobby Reynolds.
Del Potro defeated Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 6-2 in the second round. Reynolds beat Isner 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Third-seeded Richard Gasquet of France beat Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-2, 6-1, former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis defeated Matthew Ebden of Australia 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3) and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistsan had a 6-2, 6-1 win over American Ryan Sweeting.