Williams on verge of being oldest top-ranked woman

DOHA, Qatar — Serena Williams moved with a victory of becoming the oldest top-ranked women’s player, sweeping aside Urszula Radwanska 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the Qatar Open quarterfinals.

If the 31-year-old Williams reaches the semifinals by beating seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova she will return to No. 1 for the first time in 2½ years. Chris Evert was No. 1 in 1985 while just shy of her 31st birthday.

If Williams doesn’t make the last four, Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka can keep the top spot by reaching the final.

Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam winner, was joined in the last eight by Azarenka, former No. 1s Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova.

ABN AMRO

Federer advances to quarterfinals: In Rotterdam, Netherlands, defending champion Roger Federer beat Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals of the ABN AMRO.

The top-seeded Federer will face France’s Julien Benneteau in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina also advanced, beating Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Marcos Baghdatis beat fourth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France 6-4, 6-4.

Brazil Open

Nadal cruises into quarterfinals: In Sao Paulo, Brazil, Rafael Nadal beat Joao Souza 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Brazil Open, the Spanish star’s second tournament since returning from a left knee injury.

Nadal will face Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq, a 7-6 (7), 6-4 winner over eighth-seeded Albert Ramos of Spain.

Earlier, defending champion Nicolas Almagro of Spain beat qualifier Paul Capdeville.