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Francesca Fires Into Quarterfinals

Top seed Francesca Schiavone powered into the last eight of the ECM Prague Open Wednesday.

Published July 15, 2009 04:19

Francesca Fires Into Quarterfinals
Francesca Schiavone

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Top seed Francesca Schiavone was among the winners on Wednesday as second round action began at the ECM Prague Open, dismissing one of the game's rising stars handily for one of the first quarterfinal berths at the $220,000, International-level tournament.

Schiavone, who reached her third career Grand Slam quarterfinal two weeks ago at Wimbledon - having also achieved the feat at the 2001 French Open and the 2003 US Open - beat Polona Hercog, 62 62. Schiavone broke serve four times in the one-hour, 10-minute match and never faced a break point herself.

Schiavone is hunting the second Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title of her career, having won her first at another International-level clay court event in Bad Gastein almost exactly two years ago. She had been 0-8 in finals going into that one; she hasn't been past the semifinals of a Tour event since then.

Second seed Sybille Bammer, who barely survived her first round match on Monday - rallying from 62 52 down to beat Tsvetana Pironkova in three tough sets - was also in action, facing Alla Kudryavtseva later in the day. And it was nowhere near the battle her opener was, as she steamrolled the hard-hitting Russian, 61 61, in just 49 minutes. She broke serve five times and never faced a break point herself, a nearly identical outcome to Schiavone's earlier outing.

Fourth seed Carla Suárez Navarro also moved through to the quarterfinals with a 61 64 win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. In the only other match of the day, No.7 seed Lucie Hradecka outlasted Karolina Sprem, 62 46 64.

The remaining second round matches will be played Thursday, with No.3 seed Iveta Benesova facing Monica Niculescu, No.8 seed Petra Kvitova facing wildcard Zarina Diyas, Kateryna Bondarenko facing Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Voegele facing qualifier Timea Bacsinszky.

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