Serena tops Kirilenko at Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. — Serena Williams beat Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 Thursday at the Bank of the West Classic to set up a quarterfinal match with Maria Sharapova in a battle of former world No. 1s.

Williams is playing her third tournament since winning at Wimbledon last year, and the first tournament on U.S. soil since the 2009 U.S. Open. She missed nearly a year following right foot surgery. She also had blood clots in her lungs, and another surgery to remove a pool of blood under her skin.

In another match, New Zealand's Marina Erakovic stunned top-seeded and defending champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 to reach her second quarterfinal of the year.

The 121st-ranked Erakovic, a qualifier, recorded her first win over a top-20 opponent and has won 24 of her last 28 matches.

Farmers Classic

At Los Angeles, top-seeded Mardy Fish shook off a sluggish start and beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (1), 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals at the Farmers Classic.

The No. 1-ranked American is in search of consecutive titles, having won in Atlanta last week. He has won six tournament in his career.

Muller made it to the semifinals in Atlanta before losing to John Isner. He has five wins against top 10 players during his career and quickly put Fish in an 0-2 hole in the opening set.

Fish overcame set point, won the tiebreak and found his form in the second set.

Eighth-seeded Igor Kunitsyn of Russia won two tiebreaks to defeat Ryan Sweeting 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) and advance to a match against Fish.

Another quarterfinal will have Alex Bogomolov Jr., who upset No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday, meeting fourth-seeded Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, who eliminated Columbia's Alejandro Falla 6-0, 6-1.

Croatia Open

At Umag, Croatia, Potito Starace of Italy upset top-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals at the Croatia Open.

Starace, a finalist last year, couldn't recover from a 0-3 hole in the third set after being broken twice.

Also in the second round, Marin Cilic rallied to beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The fourth-seeded Croat had to work hard, saving seven of nine breaks in over 2 hours.

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