TOKYO: The second-seeded Sania Mirza lost to Italy’s Flavia Pennetta 4-6, 4-6 in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open here on Thursday.

Sania double-faulted in the seventh game of the second set to go down 3-4.

She saved one match point in the ninth game, but Pennetta triumphed when the Indian sent a backhand return long.

Meanwhile, the top-seeded Venus Williams overcame some early errors to defeat Alicia Molik and advance to the semifinals.

Venus downed Molik 7-6(4), 6-3 to set up a showdown with Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, who defeated Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3).

“I was having some problems early and it was frustrating,” said Venus. “She played well and had the skills to win the match.”

The results:

At Tokyo (Japan Open): Men (third round): Ivo Karlovic bt Lee Hyung-taik 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 7-6(8); Fernando Verdasco bt Thomas Johansson 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3; Lleyton Hewitt bt Ivan Navarro 7-5, 6-3; Feliciano Lopez bt Dmitry Tursunov 7-6(8), 6-4.

Women (quarterfinals): Flavia Pennetta bt Sania Mirza 6-4, 6-4; Virginie Razzano bt Camille Pin 6-2, 6-2; Venus Williams bt Alicia Molik 7-6(4), 6-3; Caroline Wozniacki bt Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3).

At Stuttgart (WTA Grand Prix): Second round: Serena Williams bt Julia Vakulenko 7-5, 6-2; Tatiana Golovin bt Anna Chakvetadze 7-6(3), 6-1; Svetlana Kuznetsova bt Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-7(5); 6-3; Nadia Petrova bt Michaella Krajicek 6-1, 6-3; Kateryna Bondarenko bt Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

At Metz (ATP Metz Open): Second round: Tommy Robredo bt Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-2. — Agencies

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