Henin moves into quarterfinals

August 16, 2007 09:26 PM
-- Justine Henin appears to be rolling toward another singles title at the Rogers Cup.

The top-seeded Belgian advanced to the quarterfinals of the $1.34 million hardcourt tournament on Thursday with a 7-5, 6-2 win over China's Shuai Peng.

The world's top-ranked player and the champion here in 2003, Henin has been sharp in her first two matches at this event, her first since a surprising loss to Marion Bartoli in the semifinals at Wimbledon last month.

Much like her second-round win over Slovenian qualifier Andreja Klepac on Wednesday, the 25-year-old Henin appeared to feel Peng out in the early going before pulling away for the decisive victory.

After playing to a 5-5 tie in the opening set, Henin broke Peng's serve and then proceeded to win seven of the next nine games en route to the victory.

Henin's quarterfinal opponent will be sixth seed Nadia Petrova, who knocked off No. 10 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-1, in third-round action Thursday.

A finalist at Los Angeles last week after Maria Sharapova dropped out of their semifinal match, Petrova has lost 10 of 12 meetings with Henin.

However, in their most recent match on the hardcourts at Miami earlier this year, Henin had to battle past the 25-year-old Russian, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4), in a quarterfinals encounter.

In the first of Thursday's two night matches, second seed Jelena Jankovic coasted into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win against No. 13 Sybille Bammer of Austria. The Serbian is gunning for her fifth title this season and the seventh of her career.

The world's No. 4, Jankovic won five break points and gave Bammer fits by winning 14 of 18 second-serve return points.

Virginie Razzano awaits her in the quarterfinals following a 6-4, 6-3, upset of No. 11 Shahar Peer of Israel. The unseeded Frechwoman is making her second quarterfinals appearance in as many weeks, as she lost to Petrova in the round of eight in Los Angeles. Ranked 45th in the world, Razzano will be facing Jankovic for the first time.

In the other night match, the seventh-seeded Bartoli will face No. 9 Dinara Safina of Russia.

Since her shocking win over Henin to reach her first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, the Frenchwoman has struggled. Bartoli has failed to make it past the third round in three previous events.

Bartoli has faced Safina once before, posting a straight-sets victory in the third round at Indian Wells in March.

Chinese qualifier Zi Yan awaits the winner in the quarterfinals after outlasting Eleni Daniilidou, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), early Thursday. The match was just over 3 hours old when Yan finally sealed the victory in the third-set tiebreak on the Greek player's serve.

In her best tournament this season by far, Yan upset No. 4 Ana Ivanovic in straight sets to advance Wednesday and will be making her first quarterfinals appearance of the year.

Another player on the court for the first time since the All England Club, third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia rolled into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-2 win against American Meghann Shaughnessy.

Kuznetsova's next foe will be No. 12 Tatiana Golovin, who became the first player to forge her way into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Italy's Francesca Schiavone earlier Thursday.

This is the first appearance in the round of eight for the 19-year-old Frenchwoman since Charleston in April. Golovin has split two career meetings with Kuznetsova, who is ranked fifth in the world and seeking her first title of the season.

First prize is $181,980.