Following a scare in her Cincinnati debut Tuesday, French No. 5 seed Amelie Mauresmo made her way confidently through her second round match by defeating Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open.
The former World No. 1 matches her best result of 2008, having reached the quarterfinals on four other occasions this season, at Gold Coast (l. to Schnyder), Paris (l. to Chakvetadze), Dubai (l. to Kuznetsova) and most recently in April at Amelia Island (l. to Cibulkova).
Mauresmo, currently ranked No. 35 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings, improves to a 22-11 season record and will attempt to reach a WTA semifinal for the first time since a runner-up finish last June at Eastborne.
Mauresmo next faces Vania King, who came through an all-American clash with Jamea Jackson 6-1, 6-4. King converted five of 11 break points to secure the victory in 1 hr., 15 min.
The 19-year-old King is making her debut in Cincinnati this week. Currently No. 101 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings, King now improves to 12-19 for the season. The California native is through to her first WTA quarterfinal of the season, having not won back-to-back matches in a WTA Tour main draw since November 2007, when she reached the quarterfinals at the Tier III event in Quebec (l. to Ditty).
Sixth-seeded Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak (pictured) reached her second WTA quarterfinal of the season with a convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ukrainian Julia Vakulenko. The 20-year-old Wozniak converted five of seven break point chances, to combat the two breaks of serve she herself surrendered, and strolled to victory in 57 minutes.
The Blainville resident now improves to 27-15 for the season. She is currently placed a career-high No. 39 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings, having recently captured her maiden WTA Tour title at the Tier II even in Stanford; she knocked out World No. 5 Serena Williams (retired 2-6, 1-3) in the semifinals before beating 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli in the title match.