Kurumi Nara reaches Japan Women`s Open quarters
Osaka: Japanese wild card Kurumi Nara outlasted eighth-seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the quarter-finals of the $235,000 Japan Women`s Open in Osaka on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Osaka student, ranked 87th in the world with no tournament title to her name, needed almost two hours to tame the 48th-placed Puig, one year her junior.
Nara will face Slovenia`s Polona Hercog who reached the last eight when her second-round opponent, second seed Sabine Lisicki of Germany, pulled out with a lower back injury.
In other second-round matches, third seed Samantha Stosur of Australia, the 2011 US Open champion, ousted Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-2 and No. 5 seed Eugenie Bouchard of Canada defeated Thailand`s Luksika Kumkhum 6-2, 6-2.
Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova battled from behind to whip Vania King of the United States 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
It was Nara`s fifth straight appearance in the Japan Women`s Open and the first time that she reached the quarter-finals of a tournament carrying total prize money of $235,000 or more.