Seeds Stay Afloat
Published May 05, 2010 12:00
ESTORIL, Portugal - Only three seeds survived the first round of the Estoril Open, but all three of them were victorious in straight sets in second round action on Wednesday.
Of those, No.2 seed Sorana Cirstea was pushed the most, getting past wildcard Michelle Larcher de Brito, 75 75. The Romanian is now 4-0 all-time against Larcher de Brito, and though they have all been in straight sets, they have all been fairly close.
"I was very happy to win the match today and get through to the quarterfinals here, because it's an event I really enjoy," Cirstea said.
Cirstea's new coaching arrangement with Antonio Van Grichen - former coach of Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva - seems to be paying off, as she is into her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour quarterfinal since last August, when she was a semifinalist in Los Angeles.
"I have many more things in my game to work on and improve," Cirstea said. "At the start of the year I was coming back from an injury so it was hard to get the results I wanted. I'm really enjoying working with Antonio - we've only had three weeks so far, but I already feel like I've improved a lot. I spent two weeks training here before the tournament and so hopefully the improvements in my game will start to show. We're on the right track."
Having an easier time of it was fourth-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues, who defeated 2009 Estoril runner-up Ekaterina Makarova, 62 63, a day after recording a double-bagel in the first round. She is now 4-0 all-time against Makarova. Her next match against seventh-seeded Peng Shuai, who routed Tatjana Malek, 62 61 on Wednesday, will be her first Tour quarterfinal since she was a semifinalist in Hobart in January.
Unseeded players Anastasija Sevastova, Arantxa Parra Santonja and Anastasia Rodionova were all victorious on Wednesday, as were qualifier Arantxa Rus and lucky loser Jarmila Groth. Rus beat Kirsten Flipkens, 76(4) 61, and Groth edged Kristina Barrois, 26 61 75. Rus' match against Cirstea on Thursday will be her first Tour quarterfinal since September 2008 in Guangzhou and Groth's against Parra Santonja will be her first since last year at this event.