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Austrian No.1 Ousted

Sybille Bammer fell to Alexandra Dulgheru in front of her home crowd in Linz on Wednesday.

Published October 14, 2009 12:00

Austrian No.1 Ousted
Sybille Bammer

LINZ, Austria - Agnieszka Radwanska followed Flavia Pennetta into the second round of the Generali Ladies Linz on Wednesday, beating Monica Niculescu to keep her hopes alive for the final berth in Doha.

Radwanska, seeded No.2 after Pennetta this week, and with the Italian one of five women vying for that eighth spot in the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009, had some early trouble with the tricky Niculescu but rallied from a break down in the first set and eventually cruised to victory, 64 62.

"I'm happy the match wasn't too long and I won in two sets," Radwanska said. "I've played a lot the last few weeks and everyone is tired, so it's nice to have a quicker match. It's uncomfortable to play Monica, she has a very unique style. The first set was really close but I did better in the second set."

Pennetta and Radwanska, along with Marion Bartoli, Jelena Jankovic and Vera Zvonareva, are in contention for the last spot in Doha.

Other first round winners Wednesday were No.3 seed Yanina Wickmayer, Alizé Cornet and Alexandra Dulgheru, who beat Sybille Bammer, 63 61.

Check out the photo gallery and Yanina Wickmayer's blog from Linz.

"I didn't expect to come here and beat her today in front of her home crowd," said Dulgheru, best known for her Premier-level title run in Warsaw earlier this year. "I wasn't very comfortable with my forehand on these courts, after coming from clay, but I just tried to hang in there and play as best as I could."

"I don't need to put lipstick on the pig, it was a disaster," Bammer said. "I didn't feel the ball from the first point. I was not able to fight because I made too many errors. I don't have a lot of self-confidence right now - I've lost the last few tournaments in the first round. I'm glad the season is finished. That was the most difficult season in my career. I had many problems with injury and illness. Now I have to work hard so I can start next year in top fitness."

The second round also kicked off with three matches. No.4 seed Carla Suárez Navarro and No.8 seed Sara Errani both advanced in straight sets, but Petra Kvitova upended good friend and countrywoman Iveta Benesova, the No.5 seed, 64 75. Benesova looked like she was going to push the match to a third set after building a 5-3 second set lead, but it wasn't to be.

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