Wozniacki survives scare
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki clawed her way into the Pan Pacific Open quarter-finals yesterday, narrowly avoiding the fate fourth seed Johanna Konta earlier suffered in Tokyo.
Former world No. 1 Wozniacki recovered from a break down in the final set to beat American Shelby Rogers 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 after finding her mojo just in time.
The third seed, a two-time Pan Pacific winner chasing her 26th career title, stormed through the second set to level the match with an ace before inexplicably allowing Rogers to open a 3-0 lead in the decider.
But Wozniacki came roaring back, punching a backhand deep into the corner to turn the tide and spark a purple patch of form where the Dane suddenly began smashing winners from all angles.
Rogers had no answer to Wozniacki's unerring accuracy thereafter and the world No. 6 finished her off with a looping forehand the American could only dump into the net.
Wozniacki will face Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova in the last eight after the fifth seed thrashed Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-2 in just 68 minutes.
"It definitely wasn't easy," Wozniacki said.
"(Rogers) has a big serve and she played really aggressively. I'm just happy I managed to turn it around."
Konta, who crashed out in the first round of the US Open last month, again paid for her profligacy as she was upset 7-5, 7-6 by Czech Barbora Strycova to become the first major casualty in Tokyo.
Elsewhere, ninth seed Caroline Garcia safely advanced, the Frenchwoman thrashing Japan's Kurumi Nara 6-1, 6-3 to set up a quarter-final with top seed Garbine Muguruza. - AFP