Top Seed Benesova Pushed to Limit in Estoril
Published May 04, 2009 12:00
ESTORIL, Portugal - Both seeds in action Monday on the red clay at the Estoril Open made it through to the second round, but it wasn't easy for either.
Top-seeded Iveta Benesova, runner-up here last year to Maria Kirilenko, rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third set to edge Portuguese wildcard Neuza Silva, 64 57 64. The 24-year-old Czech, whose best result this year so far is a runner-up showing in Hobart, is now 3-0 against Silva in the career series, including a win here last year, also in the first round.
Benesova's only career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title was at Acapulco in 2004. She'll continue her quest to end the five-year title drought in the next round against Jarmila Groth, who got past Mathilde Johansson, 16 61 61.
On the bottom half of the draw, eighth-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld survived Pauline Parmentier, 16 63 76(1). The German had 10 aces to improve her record against Parmentier to 2-1, with all three meetings on clay. In the second round she'll face Kristina Barrois, who defeated Portuguese wildcard Maria Joao Koehler, 76(4) 60.
Elena Bovina, Sílvia Soler Espinosa, Eva Fernández-Brugues and Sharon Fichman secured main draw berths with wins in the final round of qualifying. Also Monday, Akiko Morigami withdrew due to a left knee injury suffered in practice and was replaced in the draw by lucky loser Michelle Larcher de Brito.
The rest of the seeds play on Tuesday, including No.2 seed Kirilenko versus Fichman; No.3 seed Sorana Cirstea against returned Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm; and No.4 seed Sabine Lisicki versus Kirsten Flipkens.