Ferrer wins at Auckland, Kyrgios quits in Melbourne
SYDNEY (AP) Top-seeded Simona Halep has booked a semifinal berth at the Sydney International, while fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the men's quarterfinals of the Australian Open tune-up event.
Halep beat last year's Sydney runner-up Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 7-5 and will next play two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Sara Errani of Italy 7-6 (1), 6-0 on Wednesday.
Dimitrov advanced with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas. Joining him in the men's quarterfinals are Nicolas Mahut of France, who beat Andreas Seppi 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, who advanced when second-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria retired with an injury while trailing 7-6 (2) 2-2.
At the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament in Melbourne, Nick Kyrgios also retired with a foot injury from his match against David Goffin of Belgium.
Kyrgios, who led Australia to the Hopman Cup team event title last week, won the first set 7-6 (7-5) and was trailing 3-2 in the second when he said he couldn't continue. The Australian Open begins Monday in Melbourne.
''Hate withdrawing, so sorry to everyone ...'' Kyrgios said on Twitter. ''I just have to make sure I'm right for next week & I will be.''
In New Zealand, four-time champion David Ferrer beat Australian qualifier Matthew Barton 6-2, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of Auckland's ASB Classic for the 10th time in 11 appearances.
Fourth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson beat another qualifier, Robin Haase of the Netherlands, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (5). Eighth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain defeated American Donald Young 6-4, 7-6 (3).
At the WTA's Hobart International, former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova defeated Kimberly Birrell 6-1, 6-0 and 2012 Hobart champion Mona Barthel of Germany beat Naomi Osaka 7-6 (2), 6-2.
''Today it was just like a little present to go on to the quarterfinals, but I still had to be there and play well, she didn't just give it to me,'' Cibulkova said.
On Thursday, she'll play Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens, who beat Annika Beck of Germany 6-3, 6-1.