at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Montreal - Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska's hopes of claiming the world's top ranking this week were dashed after she suffered a crushing 6-2 6-1 loss to China's Li Na in the quarter-finals of the Montreal Cup on Saturday.
While Radwanska cruised by South African Chanelle Scheepers in a last-16 match completed earlier on Saturday, she found the former French Open champion far too good as she crashed out of a tournament she needed to win to claim the world's top ranking.
Heavy rain that limited play on Friday forced Radwanska, Li and several others to play two matches on Saturday and the 23-year-old world number three said it hindered her play.
“”The first match cost me a lot of power. It was very hot conditions out there,” Radwanska told reporters. “”But anyway, of course, she had the same situation. She was just playing too good. Li Na was just playing unbelievable tennis today.”
Given Victoria Azarenka's withdrawal on Friday with a knee injury, Radwanska would have unseated the Belarusian as the top women's player had she won the Montreal title.
“”I just hope ... I will have more opportunity, you know, to be number one,” said Radwanska. “I'm going to fight for that every week.”
Li, who had earlier beaten 2012 French Open finalist Sara Errani 6-4 6-2, will play either Czech Lucie Safarova or Italy's Roberta Vinci in a semi-final on Sunday.
Vinci, who enjoyed a 6-0 6-0 win over former world number one Ana Ivanovic in the second round, continued her good form with a 6-2 7-6 upset win over sixth seed Angelique Kerber in the third round on Saturday.
In other last-16 action, 20-year-old wildcard Aleksandra Wozniak defeated American Christina McHale 7-6 6-3 to become the first Canadian woman in 20 years to reach the quarter-finals of her country's national open.
The top-ranked Canadian and world number 55 was forced to wait for her special moment as she was serving for the match when rain halted play on Friday.
The 24-year-old will play former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the last match on Saturday.
The Dane's progression was more difficult against Varvara Lepchenko as she needed two hours and 30 minutes to defeat the New York-based Lepchenko 4-6 6-3 6-4.
Both players squandered chances to break serve early in the third set before Wozniacki claimed the crucial advantage when Lepchenko overhit a forehand when serving at 4-4.
“”It is difficult when it is against a left-hander but I kept fighting and I kept my head cool,” said Wozniacki.
Tamira Paszek thrashed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3 6-0 to reach the last eight. She now plays Petra Kvitova, one of only two players to finish third round matches on Friday. – Reuters