Johanna Konta marches on in China after Victoria Azarenka retires
Last Updated: 30/09/15 7:58am
In-form Brit Johanna Konta is through to the last 16 at the Wuhan Open in China after former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka retired during their round two clash.
Konta, who will take over as the new British No 1 from Heather Watson next week, was leading 6-4 1-0 when double Australian Open champion Azarenka pulled out with a leg injury.
World No 63 Konta has enjoyed a glorious autumn, having recently reached the fourth round at the US Open, beating Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza on the way.
She has now won 20 of her last 21 matches since losing to Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon.
Konta came through two rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw in Wuhan, a top quality event in which 19 of the world's top 20 are participating and she has already seen off world No 17 Andrea Petkovic whom she also beat at Flushing Meadows.
Konta will next take on top seed Simona Halep of Romania.
The 24-year-old was strong on serve in the first set against Azarenka, sending down six aces and saving the two break points she faced.
And she managed to convert one of the five break point opportunities she created in the opener, going on to serve out the set and break Azarenka again at the start of set two, before the Belarussian opted to retire.
Venus Williams earned the 700th victory of her career by beating German qualifier Julia Goerges 6-4 6-3.
The 35-year-old American became the ninth woman to chalk up 700 victories since tennis turned professional in 1968 but still has a long way to go to catch all-time leader Martina Navratilova (1,442).
"I'm glad nobody told me before, I would have been a little bit nervous," Williams said. "It was a good match, she's a quality player."
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki was beaten 1-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) by Anna Karolina Schmiedlova after blowing a 6-1 4-1 lead in a marathon match that lasted almost three hours.
Ana Ivanovic advanced with a 6-0 6-3 win over Madison Brengle. The ninth-seeded Ivanovic has only dropped seven games in two matches.
Also, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland retired from her match against Camila Giorgi of Italy with a left leg injury.
Bencic, who was coming off a loss to Agnieszka Radwanska in the Tokyo Pan Pacific final on Sunday, retired after dropping the first set 6-2.
In other matches, sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber defeated former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic 6-4 2-6 6-2; 12th-seeded Elina Svitolina beat Varvara Lepchenko 6-4 6-2; and Coco Vandeweghe beat highly-rated Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-7 (7-4) 7-6 (8-6).