Dulko Outdoes Date-Krumm
Published April 26, 2011 04:04
BARCELONA, Spain - After the departure of top seed Marion Bartoli on Monday, a further four seeds bit the dust at the Barcelona Ladies Open on the second day of competition.
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First to fall was No.4 seed Ekaterina Makarova, who was beaten by Croatia's Mirjana Lucic, 76(4) 63. The win marks the 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist's first WTA main draw victory of the season. For her efforts, the 29-year-old faces Polona Hercog, a straight-sets winner over lucky loser Jamie Hampton in straight sets, in the second round.
Later, a Czech derby resulted in an early exit for seventh-seeded lefty Iveta Benesova, who was bested by Lucie Hradecka, 64 64. But the highest seed to go was No.3 Tsvetana Pironkova, who had the misfortune to bump into Alberta Brianti, fresh from her maiden WTA title win at Fès on the weekend. Brianti converted all six of her break point opportunities to close out the match in 66 minutes, 61 62.
Brianti's fellow Italian, Sara Errani, had to work a little harder than her 61 60 scoreline against Spanish wildcard María-Teresa Torro-Flor would suggest: The No.5 seed held 12 break points and converted half of them. She also impressed on serve, making 80% of her first deliveries and successfully fending off all three break points faced.
In the final match of the day, bad news for the seeds equaled good news for the Spaniards, when Laura Pous-Tio upset ninth seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 63 63.
Other first round winners included Varvara Lepchenko and Virginie Razzano, who beat Elena Baltacha and Nuria Llagostera Vives respectively; and Gisela Dulko, who prevailed in her much anticipated encounter with Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm, 75 64.
Date-Krumm led 5-3 in the first set, only to see her Argentine opponent embark on a six game streak that saw her pocket the opener and build a 2-0 lead in the second set. Curiously, though, Dulko's service game for 1-0 turned out to be the sole service hold of the set - thereafter, the pair exchanged breaks until the end of the match.
Next up for Dulko is Hradecka, on Wednesday afternoon. That match will be followed by Magdalena Rybarikova - Bartoli's conqueror - against Razzano.