Azarenka eases into quarters in Spain
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka beat Laura Pous-Tio 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals at the Andalucia Tennis Experience.
The eighth-ranked Belarusian trailed 3-2 in the first set before winning 12 of the next 14 games. Azarenka, coming off her victory at the Sony Ericsson Open, will next play former top-ranked player Dinara Safina.
''I feel like I'm adapting better to the tournament and the new surface and until now I'm satisfied with my play,'' Azarenka said. ''Tomorrow's game will be interesting. Despite my ranking, I don't feel like the favorite to beat her or to win the event.''
Fourth seed Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania rallied for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain in just under three hours.
''With her difficult game, playing with a lot of topspin and coming into the court, it was difficult to build a point,'' Dulgheru said. ''I was a running a lot.''
Medina Garrigues fought back from 4-1 down to take the first set but was broken three times in each of the last two sets.
In other second-round matches, Spanish qualifier Lara Arruabarrena-Veci hung on to beat Czech Sandra Zahlavova 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 and reach her first WTA quarterfinals. Another qualifier, Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, was a 7-5, 6-0 winner over Spanish wild card Estrella Cabeza Candela.