Stuttgart: World number one Caroline Wozniacki powered into the Stuttgart WTA quarter-finals on Wednesday as four German players snapped a decade of national failure at the claycourt event.
The 20-year-old Wozniacki crushed Slovakia's Zuzana Kucova - ranked 133 places below her - for a 6-1, 6-2 second-round victory in which she barely broke sweat.
Wozniacki, who won the Charleston tournament on clay earlier this month, is making her third appearance here, but has yet to win the title.
"I felt good out there," she told AFP having had a bye into the second round.
"It's always good to get the first match out of the way. I am definitely looking to win, but it won't be easy, there are a lot of good girls here.
"I am comfortable on the surface, having won at Charleston, so I am feeling good."
In the quarter-finals, the Dane will play Germany's Andrea Petkovic, ranked 19th in the world, who fought back to earn a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over 2008 winner Jelena Jankovic.
"I'm like a diesel engine," joked Australian Open quarter-finalist Petkovic.
"I always need to be warmed up, but then I pick up speed. But this engine is ok."
After 10 years in which no German woman made the last eight, there will be four of the country's players in Thursday's quarter-finals.
Julia Goerges followed Petkovic into the next round after her fourth-seeded opponent Victoria Azarenka was forced to retire from their match with a shoulder injury, despite having won the first set.
Wild-card entries Sabine Lisicki and Kristina Barrois justified their places when they also boosted the German contingent in the quarter-finals.
There will be at least one German in the semi-finals as Lisicki will play Goerges in their last eight match.
Lisicki inflicted more misery on China's Li Na, the Australian Open runner-up, when she rallied from 5-3 down in the second set to a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over the sixth seed.
"I just decided to play my own game and it worked. I am very happy, the home support always helps, of course," she said.
Barrois, the world number 79, pulled off the biggest upset when she beat French eighth seed Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-2.
Barrois will face Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals after she put out French Open champion, and third seed, Francesca Schiavone with an impressive 6-1, 6-3 victory.
"This is a huge success, because I was the complete outsider," said Barrois. "I have nothing to lose again now (against Radwanska)."
Second seed Vera Zvonareva came from behind to beat Russian Fed Cup team-mate Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The 26-year-old Zvonareva, ranked third in the world, recovered from losing the first set to seal a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Pavlyuchenkova who was also part of the Russian team that white-washed champions Italy 5-0 in Moscow last weekend.
Zvonareva now faces fifth-seed Samantha Stosur after the Australian beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in just over two hours.