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Caroline Wozniacki smiles after her second straight sets win in as many days. Julian Finney / Getty Images
Caroline Wozniacki smiles after her second straight sets win in as many days. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Dubai Tennis Championships: Wozniacki rides high on self-belief

The Dane brushed aside Zheng Jie to set up a quarter final clash with Marion Bartoli, while Agnieska Radwanska rallies twice to keep her title defence on track.

DUBAI // Caroline Wozniacki continued her march towards a second Dubai Tennis Championships title as she steamrollered China's Zheng Jie 6-0, 6-1 to book her place in today's quarter-finals, where she will meet Marion Bartoli of France.

On Tuesday, the Dane needed only an hour to dispatch Lucie Safarova in straight sets and yesterday she required even less time - 54 minutes - to secure her place in the last eight.

Bartoli, the French right-hander, received a bye following the withdrawal of Serena Williams.

"It was a good one out there," Wozniacki, who won in Dubai two years ago, said after improving her head-to-head record with the 29 year old to 3-2.

"To be through to the quarter-finals and be through in two sets in both matches is definitely very pleasing.

"I definitely had the advantage on my own serves. I felt like I put the pressure on her straightaway, and I stepped into the court on her returns as well. She felt the pressure a little bit and went for a bit too much in the end."

Earlier in the day, the reigning Dubai champion Agnieszka Radwanska was made to fight for her place in the last eight after twice falling behind to the 18-year-old wild card Yulia Putinseva. The Pole eventually showed her experience, but said she was impressed by the quality of her youthful opponent.

"I don't see many players mixing up everything like she was doing," she said "She can do everything on court: spin, play aggressive, slice, drop-shot, pretty much everything. It's very nice to see a young player playing like that."

Radwanska, ranked fourth in the world, will now meet the powerful Petra Kvitova, who defeated a determined Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 7-6.

Last week in Doha, Williams said some of Kvitova's forehands were unreturnable and the Czech displayed her talents again as a number of clean, hard shots from the baseline proved too strong for Ivanovic, a former world No 1.

"She's very clean striker of the ball, especially when she hits it in the sweet spot; it's very hard to pick where she's going to go," Ivanovic said. "You sort of have to commit to one side and, especially coming off her racket as a lefty, it makes a big difference because we don't face too many players that are left-handed."

Kvitova said such compliments are always welcome, but added she will need to be at her best to beat Radwanska, the highest seeded player remaining in the tournament. The last time the two players met was in Turkey last year, where Radwanska came out on top.

"I'm looking for revenge, for sure," Kvitova said.

"She's a really smart player. She's thinking a lot on the court, so she knows exactly what she has to play and where I will play.

"I have to play my game and not have a lot of mistakes, but it's very tough if she's putting every ball back to me. I will have to play my aggressive game and go for the volleys."

Sam Stosur, Nadia Petrova, Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani also progressed to the next round.

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

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