Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki stunned by Camila Giorgi in Tokyo

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki stunned by Camila Giorgi in Tokyo

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki stunned by Camila Giorgi in Tokyo

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka thrashed Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-2 to reach the Pan Pacific Open quarter-finals Thursday as she seeks a return to the top after giving birth in late 2016.

The world No. 2 Dane hit 14 winners to 17 unforced errors in a last-16 match that lasted 2hr 5min in Tokyo.

Osaka became the first Japanese player to win a grand slam singles title when she upset 23-time major champion Serena Williams in NY.

After tamely surrendering the first set, Wozniacki roared back to claim the second and go a break up in the decider but Giorgi could not be denied. "This is a nice court and (today) was very fun".

Wildcard Azarenka, now 63rd on the women s WTA rankings, broke for 4-3 with a dipping backhand and clinched the opening set with a fizzing pass that landed on Barty s shoelaces, forcing the seventh seed to dump a forehand into the net.

Azarenka dominated from the baseline and picked her moments to come to the net to beat the Australian.

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Azarenka, 29, who has tumbled down the rankings following a lengthy custody battle for her baby Leo, will be the fresher of the two players after her 1hr 18 min match.

"Obviously it's been a while since I've played, but I'm just trying to look day by day and see what happens", she said.

Wozniacki found her game in the second set, saving all nine break points she faced - including one in the first game and five at 1-1 - to send the match the distance. "But I'm definitely enjoying my time on court these days".

"This was my third time playing her, and each time it was very close, so I knew she was very good", said the third-seeded Osaka, .

Elsewhere, Croatian Donna Vekic beat Britain's Johanna Konta 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the last eight, where she faces second seed Caroline Garcia of France.

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