Maria Kirilenko took another step in her comeback from injury by beating third-seeded Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-0 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Korea Open.
Kirilenko fell out of the top 100 this year after a knee injury kept her out the first three months of the season. She will next face sixth-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, who rallied to beat Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
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It’s the first time Kirilenko has won back-to-back matches on the WTA tour since Beijing last September, and her first quarterfinal since Eastbourne last June.
"To be honest, because I had an injury for a while, my ranking went down," Kirilenko said. "However, it’s not a problem for me. I already know if I start playing well again, my ranking will be going up again."
Other winners included fourth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia and Nicole Gibbs of the United States.
Rybarikova beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-2, 6-2. Gibbs rallied to beat Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5).