Down To Eight In Bastad
Published July 07, 2010 12:00
BASTAD, Sweden - World No.12 Flavia Pennetta led the Top 5 seeds to the quarterfinals of the Collector Swedish Open Women on Wednesday, cruising past American wildcard Sloane Stephens in just over an hour, 61 61.
Pennetta, seeded No.1, was a semifinalist in the tournament's inaugural year last year and has gotten off to a flying start this year, losing just four games so far and spending a total of just an hour and 49 minutes on court.
"It's never easy. The young players don't have anything to lose," Pennetta said. "I didn't really prepare anything specific for my match today - it's difficult when you don't know anything about a player. I just tried to play to her backhand."
Next up for Pennetta is Jill Craybas, who rallied past Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 36 60 64, to reach her first quarterfinal of the year. Last year, the veteran had to wait until her last tournament of the year in Osaka for her first quarterfinal.
Pennetta is 3-0 head-to-head against Craybas, never dropping a set.
"I know Jill very well. I've played her a few times," Pennetta added. "It could be a tough match. She's a very good and consistent player."
Some of the other favorites didn't have it as easy, though, starting with No.3 seed Lucie Safarova facing points for a 62 20 deficit before rallying back against Karolina Sprem, 26 75 63. No.4 seed Gisela Dulko was pushed as well, rallying from 5-2 down in the third set and saving four match points - one at 3-5, three more at 4-5 - en route to a 62 16 76(1) win over Tatjana Malek.
In other matches, No.8 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova recovered from a first set loss to beat Akgul Amanmuradova, 36 64 60, and qualifier Ana Vrljic won a two-hour, 43-minute marathon against Arantxa Rus, 75 57 64.