World number 2 Caroline Wozniacki had to work hard to reach the quarters in Istanbul, beating Sara Errani 5-7 6-3 6-3 in 2 hours and 26 minutes for her 19th win of the season and the 5th last eight appearance. This was their fifth meeting since the US Open 2014 when Errani won just one game and she fought much better today, winning the opening set before the Australian Open champion started to find her rhythm and make a turnaround.
The Italian served at 81% but she would never get a lot from her initial shot, losing almost 50% of the points in her games and Caroline broke her seven times from 11 opportunities. The Dane struggled to find the rhythm in the opening set, offering 12 break points to Errani, but she seized the control in the rest of the match, playing against two break points in total in sets two and three to forge the win and stay on the title course.
The first set lasted for more than an hour and Caroline struggled a lot in three different service games, falling 5-2 behind after dropping serve in games five and seven. She saved a set point on the return in game eight to pull one break back and Sara wasted another set point on her serve at 5-4, allowing Wozniacki to get back on the scoreboard.
The 11th game proved to be the longest and Errani converted her sixth break point to take another lead and end her drought, holding at 30 in the following game to finally grab the set 7-5. Caroline shifted into a higher gear from the start of the second set and she opened up a 4-0 lead with a double break, taking the set 6-3 and setting up a decider where she was the favorite.
Just like in the second set, Errani did break her once but only after dropping four of the opening five games, as Wozniacki broke her in the first and fifth games. Serving to stay in the match at 3-5, Errani lost serve again and Caroline moved into the next round, happy with the way she performed after that tricky opener.
Donna Vekic came to Istanbul with a poor 7-9 score but she found good form in Turkey, reaching her second quarter-final of the season after a commanding 6-1 6-2 win over Ajla Tomljanovic in an hour and 11 minutes. These two have met only once on the Tour before, in Wuhan 2014, and Vekic had to work much harder in that one, nothing like today's encounter.
She served at only 48% but we couldn't notice that as she lost just 12 points in eight service games, saving lone break point she faced and keeping all the pressure on the other side of the net. Ajla never found her rhythm and her serve was under a constant threat, dropping 54% of the points behind her initial shot and suffering four breaks from 10 opportunities she offered to Donna.
The Croat earned breaks in games two and six to sail through the opener and her win was never in doubt after a double break at the start of set number two. Tomljanovic couldn't do much by the end of the match except to make two holds in the closing stages of the encounter and Donna crossed the finish line with a good hold in game eight. Second round results: