Australian Sam Stosur's hopes of reaching the latter stages of the Sydney Tennis International have been given a huge boost after the shock exits of Caroline Wozniacki and Flavia Pennetta.
Wozniacki, who would have met Stosur in the second round with a win over veteran Czech Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova, forfeited Monday's match midway through the second set due to a wrist injury.
World number 12 Pannetta, who has been a nemesis for Stosur throughout her career, holds a 5-0 record over the Queenslander and the pair could have met at the quarter-final stage.
However, the Italian lost 6-3 7-6 to unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.
Stosur recorded her first win in Sydney since 2011 with a 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 6-3 victory against world number 16 Lucie Safarova and she believes it is the tonic she needs ahead of next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.
"You mix that with a quality opponent down the other end, and it was certainly a really tough match. I am very happy to get through that one," she said.
Australian world No.68 Jarmila Gajdosova, who was given a wild card for the tournament, shocked the 13th-ranked Anna Petkovic of Germany 6-1 7-6 to reach the second round.