Pennetta Among Seeded Winners in Acapulco
Published February 24, 2009 12:00
ACAPULCO, México - The seeds were perfect on Day 2 of the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presented by HSBC, with the Top 3 scoring impressive wins in their first round matches of the International tournament.
Flavia Pennetta and Carla Suárez Navarro both beat unseeded Ukrainian opponents in the afternoon. Pennetta, seeded No.2 this week, fell behind 3-1 in the first set but reeled off 11 of the next 12 games to beat Mariya Koryttseva, 63 61, while third seed Suárez Navarro ground out a tight first set before easing to a 75 63 win over young qualifier Viktoriya Kutuzova.
"It's very hot here but that doesn't bother me. It's always like this here and it's fine," Pennetta said. "For years I had one good result and it was here in Acapulco. Now I've reached several finals and won two titles last year, and I'm confident about my tennis and that I can improve even more."
Gisela Dulko and María José Martínez Sánchez followed with their own wins, with the fifth-seeded Dulko defeating Edina Gallovits, 63 62, and Martínez Sánchez defeating qualifier Arantxa Parra Santonja, 62 63. Dulko and Martínez Sánchez played in the final of Bogotá over the weekend, with the Spaniard upsetting the higher-ranked Argentine for her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title.
Other winners during the afternoon session were Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Mathilde Johansson, Maret Ani, qualifier Greta Arn and lucky loser Agnes Szavay. Ani had the most difficult win of the day, rallying from 64 42 down - and watching her opponent, Patricia Mayr, serve for the match twice later in the second set - before prevailing, 46 76(1) 64. Zahlavova Strycova also had a tight victory, recovering from 4-2 down in the third set to beat Andreja Klepac, 26 61 64.
At night, top seed Venus Williams battled past an in-form Nuria Llagostera Vives in a match that lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours, 64 46 62. It was Williams' first clay court match since falling to Pennetta in the third round of Roland Garros last spring, and Llagostera Vives was a tough customer in that sense as well, having won her two Tour singles titles on the dirt - at 2005 Rabat and 2008 Bogotá.
All eight second round matches will take the red clay courts on Wednesday. Williams' next foe is Arn, while Pennetta faces Pauline Parmentier, and Suárez Navarro plays Zahlavova Strycova.