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Zakopalova Fights Back, Top 3 Seeds Into QFs

Playing some of the best tennis of her career at 29, Klara Zakopalova battled into the final eight.

Published April 27, 2011 12:00

Zakopalova Fights Back, Top 3 Seeds Into QFs
Klara Zakopalova

ESTORIL, Portugal - Klara Zakopalova fought hard to reach her fourth quarterfinal of the year on Wednesday, coming back from a first set blowout to beat Anastasiya Yakimova in the second round in Estoril, 26 64 61.

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Zakopalova, the No.3 seed, was not at her best in the opening set, losing all four of her service games. She toughed out a 50-minute second set and once that was in her pocket she cruised, taking the third in 28 minutes.

"I expected a tough match. Anastasiya is a tough player, fighting a lot and moving so well," Zakopalova said of Yakimova. "I'm very satisfied to be in the quarters, but I'm playing Anabel next, and she's a very tough player too."

Recently in Marbella, Zakopalova had another narrow win over Yakimova, rallying from 61 41 down and saving match points at 61 54 to win, 16 75 63.

Zakopalova, who turned 29 two months ago, lists clay as her favorite surface in her bio - however, the hard-hitting Czech has changed that. "Actually I've maybe changed my mind. Before it was clay because I can run well and my serve isn't my best shot, so it was harder for me to play on grass or other surfaces. I grew up on clay too. But now I would say my favorite surface is hardcourt."

Her bio also mentions a stuffed animal turtle as her lucky charm when she goes on court - but there are now several other cuddly creatures accompanying her on her racquet bag. "I have a little white teddy bear that I got from a fan and a little pink ball with legs that I got from the Australian Open two years ago!"

Top 2 seeds Alisa Kleybanova and Jarmila Gajdosova also moved on. Kleybanova, the No.1 seed, lost the first set after serving for it at 5-4 but regrouped to beat Mathilde Johansson, 57 63 62; Gajdosova, seeded No.2, cruised past Casey Dellacqua, 62 64. Two more seeds fell, No.6 seed Elena Vesnina to Kristina Barrois, 64 63, and No.8 seed Greta Arn to Anabel Medina Garrigues, 62 retired, stopping due to a left thigh muscle strain.

Alla Kudryavtseva, Johanna Larsson and Monica Niculescu rounded out the quarterfinals with straight set victories in all-unseeded match-ups.

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