No. 3 seed Maria Kirilenko survived a scare before advancing to the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open. The Russian surrendered the first set 1-6, before hitting back to claim a 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Canadian qualifier Stephanie Dubois on Wednesday.
After losing serve twice in the opening set, Kirilenko regrouped to break serve twice herself in the second set to level the match and gained a crucial break of serve to steal the third set 7-5 and reach the Cincinnati quarterfinals for the first time after 2 hr., 21 min.
The 21-year-old Kirilenko now improves to 26-14 for the season. Currently No. 25 in the Sony Ericsson Open WTA Tour Rankings, the Muscovite has titled twice this season at the Tier IV events in Estoril (d. Benesova) and Barcelona (d. Martinez Sanchez).
Kirilenko will face Sabine Lisicki for a place in the semifinals after the German defeated Camille Pin of France 6-3, 6-4. The 18-year-old Lisicki is through to her first WTA quarterfinal of the season. Since reaching the second round at Roland Garros (d. Vesnina, l. to Szavay), she had fallen first round at five straight events.
No. 2 seed Nadia Petrova had little difficulty securing her spot in the quarterfinals, needing just 57 minutes to get past American Julie Ditty 6-1, 6-1. The Russian won 76 percent of her service points and converted on five of her 10 break point chances.
Petrova is making her debut appearance in Cincinnati this week, and improves to a 23-16 season record. The 26-year-old advances to the quarterfinals for the fifth time this year, most recently reaching this stage last month in Los Angeles (l. to Jankovic). Her best result this year has been a runner-up finish at Eastborne (l. to Radwanska.
She next faces American wild card Lilia Osterloh, who put together a convincing 6-4, 6-1 victory over Petra Cetkovska. The 30-year-old Osterloh is through to her first WTA quarterfinal of the season.
Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy went the distance to oust No. 4 seed Katarina Srebotnik, prevailing 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(1) in two hours and 19 minutes. With the victory, she takes the 3-2 lead in the career series against the Slovenian.
Dechy, currently No. 92 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings, advances to her first WTA quarterfinal this year and awaits the winner between No. 6 seed Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada and Ukranian Julia Vakulenko.