Russia's Maria Kirilenko weathered a tenacious performance from Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan to reach the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Thursday.
Kirilenko won both sets by breaking Shvedova's serve as she won 7-5, 6-4, after nerves appeared to play their part in delivering eight breaks in the 22 games.
The match pitted together two Moscow natives, with Kirilenko officially representing Russia, while Shvedova switched to represent Kazakhstan in 2008.
Kirilenko came back from 5-1 down in the first set and won six consecutive games to seal the set.
“Yaroslava started the match very well. Absolutely everything went well for her” Kirilenko said.
“But then at some point, luckily, I managed to find my game and win the first set.”
Kirilenko is now the only Russian left in the women’s draw after qualifier Valeria Solovieva was eliminated by Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic earlier Thursday.
“There is only I left, all the Russian girls lost, it's sad. I will fight one for everybody.”
Shvedova praised Kirilenko's charge back into the match after a slow start.
"I started well, was in the lead, and then she started to play very actively and moved well, played round me aggressively and it just didn't turn out right for me by a small margin," she told R-Sport.
The Russian now faces Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson, who stunned second seed Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-0 on Wednesday.