AUCKLAND: Top seed Vera Zvonareva was bundled out of the WTA ASB Classic on Thursday as local teenager Marina Erakovic gave the home fans something to cheer about with a thrilling quarterfinal victory.
On the other side of the draw, former World No.1 Lindsay Davenport continued her comeback after taking time out to have a baby with an easy 6-3, 6-3 win over Italian Sara Errani.
Russia’s Zvonareva, 23, has been the beaten finalist in the past two years of this WTA event and the World No. 22 had her sights set on going one better this time.
But World No. 152 Erakovic battled for a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5) victory, closing out the tiebreaker 7-5 to become the first New Zealander to make the semifinals since 1990.
Davenport started tentatively but took only 57 minutes to beat Errani 6-3, 6-3, stroking 40 clean winners to the Italian’s seven.
Hewitt in last eight
At Adelaide, Lleyton Hewitt won 16 of the first 19 points for a 4-0 lead, setting up a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jose Acasuso on Thursday that put him into the quarterfinals of the Next Generation Adelaide International.
At Gold Coast, Amelie Mauresmo, top-seeded Nicole Vaidisova and defending champion Dinara Safina were among the big-name losers in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the WTA Mondial Australian Women’s Hardcourts.
At Auckland: WTA ASB Classic: Quarterfinals: Tamira Paszek bt Maria Kirilenko 6-1, 6-3; Marina Erakovic bt Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5); Lindsay Davenport bt Sara Errani 6-3, 6-3; Aravane Rezai bt Katarina Srebotnik 6-1, 6-3.
At Gold Coast: WTA Mondial Australian Women’s Hardcourts: Quarterfinals: Li Na bt Nicole Vaidisova 6-3, 6-3; Victoria Azarenka bt Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3; Shahar Peer bt Dinara Safina 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(8); Patty Schnyder bt Amelie Mauresmo 6-4, 6-4.
At Adelaide: ATP Next Generation Adelaide International: Second round: Jarkko Nieminen bt Frank Dancevic 6-4, 6-1; Lleyton Hewitt bt Jose Acasuso 6-2, 6-2; Vince Spadea bt Mischa Zverev 6-3, 7-5; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-2.
At Doha: ATP: Qatar ExxonMobil Open: Quarterfinals: Ivan Ljubicic bt Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-7(4-7), 6-3. — Agencies