Zahlavova Surprises Vinci

Roberta Vinci, Marbella's No.7 seed, was cast aside by Sandra Zahlavova on Monday.

Published April 04, 2011 06:45

Zahlavova Surprises Vinci
Sandra Zahlavova

MARBELLA, Spain - The 2011 Andalucía Tennis Experience proved to be all too short for No.7 seed Roberta Vinci, the Italian dispatched in the first round by 104th-ranked Sandra Zahlavova. The other three seeds in action on Monday - Alexandra Dulgheru, Klara Zakopalova and Sara Errani - were all pushed the distance, but survived.

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World No.37 Vinci was certainly left to rue her chances; the Italian clay court expert held a 5-2 lead in the first set, only to see her Czech opponent reel off five consecutive games. Vinci even broke for a 2-0 lead in the second, but Zahlavova broke right back, winning six of the next seven games - including an eight-deuce game on one of Vinci's serves - to seal a 75 63 win.

By contrast, Dulgheru's match against Russia's Anastasia Pivovarova was a three-hour case of tit-for-tat, defined by many service breaks. Indeed, neither player held serve for the first eight games and by the time Dulgheru had secured her 76(3) 67(5) 75 victory, the fourth-seeded Romanian had broken the Russian nine times - just once more than Pivovarova could manage.

For her part, Czech No.6 seed Zakopalova recovered from a set and 4-1 down against Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus before easing over the line 16 75 63. Later, eighth seed Errani regrouped from a set and a break down to reel in Sorana Cirstea, 16 64 62 - a turnaround that entailed a seven game streak for 5-0 in the decider.

The other first round winner on the opening day of play was Spain's Laura Pous-Tio, who breezed past Polona Hercog, 61 62.

The final round of qualifying also took place on Monday, with the host nation earning two of the fourth berths on offer in the main draw, thanks to wins by María-Teresa Torro-Flor and Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino. Germany's Mona Barthel and Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu also moved through.

Barthel faces the daunting prospect of No.2 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on Tuesday, while Torro-Flor plays Tsvetana Pironkova. Dinara Safina and Aravane Rezai also highlight the day's schedule. Safina enjoyed a successful doubles outing on Monday, pairing with Agnes Szavay to oust No.2 seeds Klaudia Jans and Alicja Rosolska, 61 61.

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