STANFORD, CALIFORNIA // Elena Dementieva and her Russian compatriot Maria Sharapova won through to the quarter-finals of the WTA's Bank of the West Classic with identical 6-1, 6-2 scorelines on Wednesday. The third-seed Dementieva breezed past Maria Kirilenko of Russia, while Sharapova had a surprisingly comfortable win over fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova in another all-Russian affair. In other results on Wednesday, Slovakia's Daniel Hantuchova ousted seventh-seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1 in a tight battle, while Australia's Sam Stosur downed Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1, 7-5. Dementieva will face Hantuchova in the quarter-finals, while Sharapova will likely meet second-seed Venus Williams, whose upcoming second-round opponent is the Russian Alla Kudryavtseva.
Sharapova, playing her 17th match since returning from nine months out following shoulder surgery, showed enough form to indicate she would be a test for Williams. "I was aggressive the whole way through," she said. "I didn't have many let-downs and even when I made unforced errors I stayed with it." The former world No 1 player improved to 13-4 on the season and beat Petrova for the seventh time in eight meetings.
Sharapova was pushed to three sets in their most recent match at the French Open. "This is the easiest score line I've had against her," Sharapova said. "Most of the time we go three sets. She's explosive and always goes for her shot." Stosur is likely to face the top-seede, Serena Williams, in the last eight. Serena will meet Hungary's Melinda Czink in the second-round. Britain's Anne Keothavong, who left her doubles match after crashing into a fence Tuesday night, is out for the rest of the season. Tests on Wednesday morning revealed a severe left knee sprain. *AP