Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka has moved into the Brisbane International quarter-finals with a straight sets win over Belgium’s lucky loser Ysaline Bonaventure.
The two-time Australian Open champion endured a tougher-than-expected match against the hard-hitting Bonaventure, before closing out the match 6-3 6-2 in just under 90 minutes.
Bonaventure, who won a spot in the main draw after top seed Simona Halep withdrew due to injury on Tuesday, provided plenty of early fight against Azarenka.
The world No.170, playing for just the second time in a WTA main draw, broke Azarenka in the opening game and nearly took a 3-1 lead in a marathon 20-minute service game.
But after Azarenka secured the break back in that game she didn’t look back, claiming the set despite 18 winners from the gutsy Belgian.
Azarenka will now face Italian Roberta Vinci for a spot in the semi-finals.
Earlier, German fourth seed Angelique Kerber and compatriot Andrea Petkovic also booked their last eight spots.
Kerber took just 62 minutes to thrash American Madison Brengle 6-3 6-0 while doubles partner Petkovic will face American qualifier Sam Crawford.
The 20-year-old American claimed the biggest win of her career on Wednesday as she upset Swiss rising star Belinda Bencic.
Petkovic admitted she’ll have to be studying up on world No.142 Crawford following her impressive 7-5 7-5 win.
“It’s going to be classic YouTube stalking from my side,” Petkovic said.
“I don’t know if I’m going to find a lot, but she must be playing tremendously well to beat Bencic … she must be in a good groove.”