World Number One Caroline Wozniacki and third seed Vera Zvonareva sailed through to the third round of the China Open tennis in Beijing Tuesday.
Wozniacki needed only one hour and 20 minutes to outclass Jarmila Gajdosova from Australia 6-2, 6-3 while Zvonareva survived a worrying second set slump to beat Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
The China Open, which ran in its eighth year, was hit by seed casualty again on the fourth day as World No. 7 Samantha Stosur went down to the 27th ranked Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 after two hours' toil.
She joined two other reigning Grand Slam winners Li Na (French Open) and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic (Wimbledon) in the stars' early exit, reducing the box office of the elite tournament after the likes of Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters pulled out citing injury or illness.
"I have only played two tournaments since winning the US Open, so it is not the end of the world. Obviously I wanted it to be a lot better than what it has been, but I guess it is one of those things," Stosur was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
With the convincing victory, Kirilenko, the 2005 China Open champion, improved her record against Stosur to 4-4.
Stosur just produced an impressive display from the baseline in the second set, but it was not enough for the Australian who dished up too many grave mistakes in the first and third sets.
"I played against her eight times in my life and now we have an even score in all matches. I know how she is playing, nothing new," Kirilenko, 24, commented on the rivalry.
The match between Zvonareva and Zakopalova was tight as the Russian broke six times while her opponent on four occasions. The second set was especially breath-taking, featuring five breaks with Zvonareva only scoring three more points than Zakopalova.
"There was a moment where I allowed her to make those winners. I think I was playing a little bit softer, a little bit shorter, and she was stepping in and just making winners," said the 27-year-old Zvonareva.
"Overall, I think I played a pretty good match, but she is a very dangerous player. I don't think I made many mistakes. It is just she played very aggressive," she added.
Her reward will be a third round clash against former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, a player Zvonareva rates as tough.
Wozniacki was barely tested by Gajdosova, who made 19 unforced errors and eight double faults, and thus improved to a 5-0 win/loss record against the Australian. The Dane will meet up Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in the third round.
"I played her (in Pan Pacific Open)last week and I lost to her in three sets. I had chances. But next match is a new match. We start from 0-0, and I will go out there and fight what I have and hopefully it will be enough," said Wozniacki.
There were also second round victories for eighth seed Marion Bartoli of France, 13th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and Italy's Flavia Pennetta.
In the ATP event, top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was pushed to his limits when the Frenchman dispatched Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(5), 7-5 in the first round.
Elsewhere, third seed Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic had to dig deep to defeat Jurgen Melzer from Austria 7-5, 7-5, while Spain's fourth seed Nicolas Almagro lost to Russian Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 2-6.