Seeds Struggle in Second Round in Morocco
Published April 29, 2009 12:00
FÈS, Morocco - Six of the original eight seeds were still alive for the second round at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem on Wednesday, but three of them lost, and the top seed barely survived
The highest seed to go down was third-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who fell to Melinda Czink, 76(1) 36 63. The Hungarian, seeking her first career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title, next plays Lucie Hradecka, who eliminated No.8 seed Shahar Peer, 64 61. The biggest surprise of the day may have been qualifier Polona Hercog beating No.7 seed Roberta Vinci for the first time in three career matches, 62 64. The Italian had been on a roll coming into the tournament, having won her second Tour singles title two weeks ago in Barcelona.
Hercog has another stiff challenge upcoming, as No.2 seed Alisa Kleybanova handled Jarmila Groth, 64 61, to set up a quarterfinal encounter. Also Wednesday, No.1 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, the only seed remaining on the top half of the draw, saved three match points against Klara Zakopalova with the Czech serving up 61 65, before rallying for a 16 76(1) 63 victory. No.6 seed Ekaterina Makarova had no such problems with Akiko Morigami, routing her, 60 61.
Two players who knocked out seeds in the first round continued to impress, as Marta Domachowska topped lucky loser Eva Fernández-Brugues, 64 64, and Lourdes Domínguez Lino edged Anne Keothavong, 46 75 63, despite Keothavong having three match points while serving at 64 54. Domachowska upset No.4 seed Maria Kirilenko on Day 1, and Domínguez Lino stymied No.5 seed Sorana Cirstea on Tuesday.
The four quarters scheduled for Thursday are: Medina Garrigues against Domínguez Lino, Kleybanova versus Hercog, Makarova against Domachowska and Czink versus Hradecka.