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Sania storms into quarters

sports Updated: Oct 15, 2009 01:05 IST

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India’s Sania Mirza became the first player to reach the quarter-finals of the Japan Open Wednesday, beating Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine in straight sets.

The 22-year-old Mirza, who won the Australian Open mixed doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi this season, took advantage of a rash of double faults from Kutuzova on her way to a 6-4, 6-3 win.

In the last eight on Friday, Mirza will play the 2006 champion, Marion Bartoli of France, seeded second.

Bartoli, battling for the final spot in the season-ending championships, thumped Japanese wild card Kurumi Nara 6-1, 6-1 in just 61 minutes.

In other second-round action, fourth seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy had an unconvincing 6-3, 0-6, 6-3 win over Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan.

Seventh seed Melinda Czink of Hungary hit seven aces and seven double faults in beating Vania King of the United States 6-4, 6-2.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, the top seed and runner-up at the US Open, was due to play Katie O’Brien of Britain on Thursday.