Moscow, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Second-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova and No. 3 seed Flavia Pennetta failed in second-round matches on Wednesday, while fifth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova secured a spot in the quarterfinals at the Kremlin Cup tennis event.
Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu ousted the left-handed U.S. Open semifinalist Makarova 6-4, 6-4, while Camila Giorgi upended her fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 and the two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova clipped Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 at Olympic Stadium.
The hot Giorgi was a finalist in Linz, Austria, last week.
Fourth-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova reached the round of eight with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory over Croat Ajla Tomljanovic on Day 3. Safarova will meet the former top-five star Kuznetsova in Friday's quarterfinals.
In some first-round action, France's Kristina Mladenovic upended seventh- seeded Czech and last week's Linz, Austria, champion Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5, and last week's Tianjin, China, champ Alison Riske of the United States pasted Russian wild card Darya Kasatkina 6-1, 6-2. Riske's win last week marked her first-ever WTA title.
This week's top seed is Australian Open runner-up and 2011 Moscow titlist Dominika Cibulkova, who will open up here with a second-round affair against Russian qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko on Thursday.
The 2014 Moscow champ will claim $120,000.