Wozniacki eases into New Haven semi-finals

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World number two Caroline Wozniacki got some much-needed rest Thursday when her New Haven Open quarter-final opponent Flavia Pennetta withdrew with a foot injury.

Wozniacki, who will be the top seed at the U.S. Open next week, won a semi-final and final at the rain-hit Montreal Cup Monday before racing to New Haven for her final Flushing Meadows tune-up.

Italian Pennetta was reluctant to pull out of the tournament but said she wanted to give herself every chance of playing at the U.S. Open.

"I never like to withdraw but my foot has been bothering me since last week and I knew I wouldn't be able to finish the match," Pennetta told the WTA's official website (www.sonyericssonwtatour.com.)

"I decided to pull out and not risk any further damage. The good news is there's no stress fracture. The toe on my right foot is just very inflamed.

"With some rest and lots of physiotherapy in the next few days, I hope to be ready for the U.S. Open."

Dane Wozniacki, last year's New Haven champion, was joined in the semi-finals by three Russians.

Fourth seed Elena Dementieva needed nearly three hours to tame sixth seed Marion Bartoli of France 6-3 3-6 6-2, while eighth seed Nadia Petrova romped past Australian second seed Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-1.

Maria Kirilenko came out on top of an all-Russian clash, thrashing former world number one Dinara Safina 6-3 6-3.

In the men's quarter-finals, Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky toppled top seed Marco Baghdatis of Cyprus 5-7 6-1 7-6.

The Netherlands' Thiemo de Bakker was an easy winner over Kazakhstan's Evgeny Korolev 6-4 6-3 while 15th seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan outlasted Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-1 3-6 7-6.

Viktor Troicki beat Radek Stepanek 6-2 6-3 in the other quarter-final.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)