Dulgheru Outlasts Medina In Marathon

Alexandra Dulgheru was taken the distance by Anabel Medina Garrigues in Marbella on Thursday, but Victoria Azarenka cruised.

Published April 07, 2011 02:27

Dulgheru Outlasts Medina In Marathon
Alexandra Dulgheru

MARBELLA, Spain - Top seed Victoria Azarenka flew into the quarterfinals of the $220,000 Andalucía Tennis Experience on Thursday, the world No.6 scoring a 63 62 win over Spain's Laura Pous-Tio. By contrast, fourth-seeded Alexandra Dulgheru toiled for nearly three hours to stop resurgent Anabel Medina Garrigues.

"I was a little inconsistent and made some silly mistakes, but overall it was good," said Azarenka, who jumped all over her opponent's second serve, winning three quarters of such points. "I'm getting into my rhythm and getting into the tournament."

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At two hours 57 minutes, Dulgheru's 57 64 64 win over Medina Garrigues took one minute longer than her first round victory over Anastasia Pivovarova. The Romanian led 4-1 in the first set, but the former Spanish No.1 won six of the next seven games to steal the opener.

The next two sets followed similar pattern, with Dulgheru relinquishing substantial leads but holding on; despite retrieving one break of serve deep in the decider, Medina Garrigues wasn't quite able to play catch-up.

"Today on court I was feeling pretty good in my game, but at some points I was getting tired," said Dulgheru. "With her difficult game, playing with a lot of topspin and coming into the court, it was difficult to build a point. I was running a lot at times.

"But then I tried to take the pace more quickly to be able to open the court and do more things with the ball," she added. "I just tried to stay focused and not think about the fact that I lost the first set. It was a good match in the end."

In the final match of the day, the wildcard run of Estrella Cabeza Candela came to an end at the hands of Romanian qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu, 75 60. There was, however, good news for the host nation when Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, a 19-year-old qualifier ranked a career-high No.253 this week, won through to her first WTA quarterfinal by beating experienced Czech Sandra Zahlavova, 75 36 63.

Arruabarrena-Vecino's reward is a quarterfinal meeting with No.2 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday. Azarenka plays Dinara Safina, Dulgheru meets Sara Errani, and Begu tackles Klara Zakopalova.

The doubles semifinals began to take shape on Thursday, with top-seeded Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci too strong for Maria Elena Camerin and Sorana Cirstea, 63 62; and Dinara Safina and Agnes Szavay beating Kristina Barrois and Jasmin Woehr in a match tie-break.

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