And Then There Were Three
Published May 04, 2010 12:00
ESTORIL, Portugal - After three seeds were bounced on the first day of main draw play Monday at the Estoril Open, two more joined them on the sidelines Tuesday, and the highest seed left withstood a challenge.
Second-seeded Sorana Cirstea got past Ioana Raluca Olaru, 63 36 61, her third win in four career matches against her fellow Romanian. Cirstea, who is the only seed left on the bottom half of the draw, reached her career-high ranking of No.23 last August, but is down to No.38 amid an inconsistent 2010. She will be looking to break a trend in her next match against another of Tuesday's winners - wildcard Michelle Larcher de Brito - as she has won her first match and lost her second in her last four events.
Cirstea's doubles partner this week, No.4 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, may be the player to beat based on her first round performance. She surrendered a mere 12 points in her 40-minute double-bagel of wildcard Magali de Lattre. The Spaniard also shut out her opponent in the opening round last week in Fès but then fell in the next round, so she will try to do a better job this time of keeping her momentum going against last year's runner-up here, Ekaterina Makarova, who won in three sets Tuesday.
"I played really well without many mistakes," Medina Garrigues said. "I think the other girl was a little nervous. I'm really happy to be in the second round. I'll probably have to be a little more aggressive moving forward, but I'm feeling good."
The two seeds to go down were fifth-seeded Melinda Czink and sixth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova, who both lost by identical 64 63 scores. Stefanie Voegele took out Czink, and lucky loser Jarmila Groth upended Rybarikova. Another player who emerged from qualifying, Arantxa Rus, also advanced, but in much more dramatic fashion. She withstood five match points in the third set, a set in which she trailed 5-2, before rallying to a 63 36 75 victory over wildcard Maria Joao Koehler.
"In the third set I was a little bit lucky," said Rus, who recorded her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour main draw victory since last July. "She had some match points but made some mistakes, and I'm happy I won. I've won a match being match point down but it was at an ITF tournament last year, I think."
All eight round of 16 matches will be played Wednesday.