GOLD COAST, Australia, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Defending champion Dinara Safina was pushed to three sets before taking a second-round win Wednesday at the Australian Women's Hardcourts tennis tournament.
Safina, seeded third this year, managed to win just two games in the second set of her match against Flavia Pennetta before rebounding for a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory. In the quarterfinals, she'll face a rested fifth-seeded Shahar Peer, who took the first set Wednesday 6-0 before Julia Schruff retired with an upper respiratory infection.
Second-round play went to form Wednesday, with top-seeded Nicole Vaidisova sweeping past Tatiana Malek, 6-4, 6-2; No. 4-seeded Patty Schnyder rallying for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Francesca Schiavone; and sixth-seeded Amelie Mauresmo topping Nathalie Dechy, 6-3, 6-4.
In addition to the Safina-Peer quarterfinal, Thursday's matches send Vaidisova against Li, Schnyder versus Mauresmo, and Cibulkova against Victoria Azarenka.