Pennetta into first quarter-final at Melbourne Park

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 18, 2014 9:22 PM

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Italy's Flavia Pennetta advanced to her first Australian Open quarter-final with a 6-1 4-6 7-5 victory over ninth-seeded German Angelique Kerber on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Italian could do nothing wrong in the first set, moving Kerber around the court and belting winners from both sides to take it 6-1 in 24 minutes.

Kerber, who lost in the Sydney International final to qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova, took a short break between sets and somehow managed to stay in the match and break the 29th-seed three times to send it to a decider.

Pennetta was broken twice in the third set but rediscovered her rhythm and accuracy to break Kerber three times to advance to her first singles quarter-final at Melbourne Park against either Chinese fourth seed Li Na or Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford)