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Cornet Ready to Catch a Break?

She's had a tough 12 months, but Alizé Cornet's draw has opened up in Fès.

Published April 28, 2010 12:00

Cornet Ready to Catch a Break?
Alizé Cornet

FÈS, Morocco - The dream run of Anabel Medina Garrigues at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem ended Wednesday, the No.3 seed beaten in straight sets by a qualifier. In another blow to the Spanish contingent, top seed Carla Suárez Navarro sustained an ankle injury and was forced to retire mid-match.

Garrigues had issued a double bagel to wildcard Lina Bennani in the first round on Tuesday, but the worrying underlying trend was that the defending champion and 2008 runner-up had lost eight of her last 11 matches before arriving in Fès.

Against a more experienced and less intimidated opponent in fellow Spaniard Laura Pous Tio, the former Spanish No.1's lower confidence was exposed as she slumped to a straight set defeat, 63 62.

"We had very long and intense match, but I played very well in the end," said Pous Tio, who is match fit after a solid swing through Marbella and Barcelona. "She is a very good player so this is a good moment for me. This is a nice tournament so I hope to continue playing well."

Suárez Navarro, who might reasonably have fancied her chances at securing a first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title this week, rolled her right ankle when leading 6-5 in the first set against a sympathetic Anne Keothavong.

"I feel really bad for Carla, and hope she isn't out for too long," said the British No.1. "It brought back memories of when I hurt my knee and was out for six months. It was really hard to see today. It isn't the way I want to win a match but I will focus and try to play my best tomorrow."

Next up for Keothavong is Alizé Cornet, who won through to the quarterfinals by beating yet another Spaniard, Arantxa Parra Santonja, in straight sets. The French former world No.11, currently languishing at No.84, will be gunning for her first semi since Bad Gastein last July.

Also through to the last eight are second-seeded Patty Schnyder, who outlasted Ioana Raluca Olaru in three to set up an encounter with another Romanian, qualifier Simona Halep, who ousted Olga Savchuk.

Patty is blogging all week from Fès. Read about what she's up to here!

No.7 seed Iveta Benesova ended the run of French qualifier Claire de Gubernatis and will play Pous Tio, while fifth seed Angelique Kerber tackles Renata Voracova. In the second round Kerber beat Bojana Jovanovski while Voracova took out Katie O'Brien.

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