Moscow – Former Grand Slam champions Ana Ivanovic and Samantha Stosur advanced to the Kremlin Cup quarterfinals with straight-sets victories on Thursday to set up a rematch of last year's semifinal.
The former top-ranked Ivanovic beat Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 6-1, while former U.S. Open winner Stosur extended her winning streak to seven matches by beating Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-1 in the second round.
The fourth-seeded Ivanovic led 5-0 lead but then struggled with her game and dropped serve before winning the first set. After trading breaks early in the second, Ivanovic won the rest of the way.
On Sunday, former French Open champion Ivanovic lost to Angelique Kerber in the final in Linz - her first appearance in a final since winning her 11th title in Bali in 2011.
Stosur, who won her second title of the season last Sunday in Osaka, won five consecutive games to win the first set and go 2-0
up in the second.
“I did what I had to do,” Stosur said. “I made her play more balls when I had a chance to attack deep, so overall it was a pretty solid match.”
Stosur rallied to beat Ivanovic in the semifinals last year before falling to Caroline Wozniacki in the final.
In the men's second round, veteran Ivo Karlovic landed 16 aces to eliminate fifth-seeded Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (6), while qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin defeated fourth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-4. – Sapa-AP