Barthel into Hobart semi-finals

Mona Barthel's title defence remains on track at the Hobart International after she beat Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarter-finals.

Barthel took just 63 minutes to post a 6-3 6-2 victory over her Bulgarian opponent.

The ninth-seeded German will now take on Kirsten Flipkens in the last four after the Belgian came from behind to see off Monica Niculescu 2-6 6-4 6-0.

Eighth-seed Sloane Stephens beat American compatriot Lauren Davis 6-3 4-6 7-5 to set up a semi-final meeting with Elena Vesnina, who was a 6-3 6-2 winner over 2011 champion Jarmila Gajdosova.