Spanish qualifiers Garbiñe Muguruza and Estrella Cabeza Candela advanced Wednesday to the quarterfinals of the Hobart International, a tune-up event for the Australian Open, which gets underway next week.

Cabeza Candela lost the first set to third-seeded Russian Elena Vesnina but strong serving enabled her to battle back and take the second set convincingly.

Then, with the Spaniard leading 4-6, 6-2, 4-1, Vesnina retired from the match with a hip injury.

Cabeza Candela will next take on unseeded Romanian Monica Niculescu on Thursday for a spot in the semifinals.

Muguruza, meanwhile, advanced when her opponent, Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer, retired while trailing 4-1 in the first set. She will next face another Belgian, second-seeded Kristen Flipkens, in Thursday's quarterfinals.

In other action Wednesday in Hobart, home-crowd hopeful Samantha Stosur, the top seed, overcame a stiff challenge from Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic to eke out a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (9-7) victory. EFE