Herald tennis writer Michael Burgess provides regular updates from the fourth day at the ASB Classic.


It's all over. Wozniacki was all business tonight, cantering through the second set as she broke Dulgheru on three successive occasions to take the set 6-0. It was an almost flawless display by the former world No1 - characterised as a "tennis lesson" by one television commentator - as everything she hit turned to gold. But it should be a lot harder tomorrow against fifth seed Sloane Stephens.



In what would have been a very pleasant first set to watch for tournament organisers, Caroline Wozniacki waltzed through the first set of her quarter-final against Alexandra Dulgheru without any difficult. The third-seeded Wozniacki - the sole remaining former world No1 after Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic were bundled out - took the set 6-1 in less than half an hour.


Naomi Broady's eventful ASB Classic has come to an end, losing in straight sets against American Sloane Stephens. After Broady dropped the first set in a tie-break, the Brit was left to rue missed opportunities as she lost the match 7-6 6-3. Broken twice off her serve, Broady had a golden opportunity to level the set late in proceedings, but squandered two break points to bow out of the tournament. Stephens showed impressive resolve in saving six of seven break points to advance to march on to the semifinals.


There may not be as many name players left in the field but no one can dispute the quality of the tennis on display. Sloane Stephens has taken the first set 7-6 (6) against popular British outsider Naomi Broady in just under an hour. Many observers expected Broady to have nothing left in the tank, after two emotionally draining victories over the last two days for the world No122. But the Stockport-born Broady has managed to raise her game again, against the American who has been as high as No13 in the world.


In the second long match of the day, Julia Goerges has prevailed over Nao Hibino 7-6 (3) 6-2 6-4 in more than two hours. Goerges took a while to get going but always looked the likely winner over the brave, but limited Japanese player. The German last made the semi-finals here in 2011, when she lost to eventual winner Greta Arn. The world No50 Goerges will play Austrian Tamira Paszek tomorrow and it promises to be close contest; their head to head record is split at two wins each.


It's the most low profile quarter-final on court today, but Julia Goerges and Nao Hibino are providing plenty of entertainment for the large centre court crowd. It's been an extremely tight match and the Japanese world No66 has just taken the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (3).


What a game! One of the best matches of the week as Paszek finally progresses 6-4 6-7 (3) 6-3 over tenacious Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. Paszek - who was playing her sixth match in six days, after coming through qualifying to make the main draw - dominated the contest but couldn't shrug off her fellow qualifier.

She led 4-1 in the second set before Flipkens came back to win in a tiebreak, then held a 5-0 advantage in the final set before Flipkens threatened another revival. But Paszek eventually prevailed, on her seventh match point.

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As predicted, the Tamira Paszek -Kirsten Flipkens match has been a battle. Paszek took the first set 6-4 - in a tight battle - and the second set is currently locked up at 5-5. And despite the absence of star names such as Williams and Ivanovic, there is a near capacity crowd at Stanley St.


It's not quite the quarter final line-up that we hoped for - or expected but the last eight matches today should hold plenty of intrigue, and there is potential for some great battles on centre court.

The first match is a battle of two qualifiers who both have some decent pedigree in Auckland.

Austrian Tamira Paszek reached the semi finals here as a teenager - beating the second seed on the way before losing to eventual champion Lindsay Davenport. Meanwhile, Kirsten Flipkens has reached the quarter final stage on two previous occasions, with her best performance coming in 2014 where she was beaten in the semi finals by Ana Ivanovic.

The second match on centre court sees unknown Japanese player Nao Hibino take on perennial Auckland favourite Julia Goerges. The German has been here on six previous occasions, highlighted by a run to the semi final in 2011.

The big guns are on court tonight, with fifth seed Sloane Stephens against Brit Naomi Broady and world No17 Caroline Wozniacki taking on Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania.