Kerber scrapes through to Brisbane quarter-finals

World number one Victoria Azarenka moved into the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International with a hard-fought 6-3, 6-3 win over German Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday.

Azarenka was made to work hard for her win by the hard-hitting Lisicki, who traded punishing ground strokes with the top seed but was let down by a high error rate – 36 unforced errors compared with only nine from her opponent.

Azarenka now plays Kazakhstan qualifier Ksenia Pervak in the quarter-finals.

Earlier, Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the only player to defeat Serena Williams since the French Open in May, came from behind to beat unheralded Puerto Rican Monica Puig .

The 24-year-old fourth-seed looked in huge trouble as she trailed 1-4 in the third set but fought back to force a tiebreak.

Puig then led 4-0 in the tiebreak only for Kerber to fight back again and take the match 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9/7).

She will next take on Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter-finals.

In men’s second-round matches, third-seeded Gilles Simon of France beat Colombia’s Alejandro Falla 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) and No. 5 Kei Nishikori of Japan had a 6-3, 6-3 win over Tommy Robredo of Spain. Sixth-seeded Florian Mayer lost 6-4, 6-2 to 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.Agencies