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Dellacqua Stuns Peer, Kanepi Qualifies

Casey Dellacqua showed she's back on the right track with the sixth Top 20 win of her career.

Published May 16, 2011 12:00

Dellacqua Stuns Peer, Kanepi Qualifies
Casey Dellacqua

BRUSSELS, Belgium - It didn't take long for the first surprise at the Brussels Open. Shahar Peer, the No.5 seed at the brand new Premier-level tournament, was upset in her first match by former Top 40 player Casey Dellacqua.

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Dellacqua, playing in just her second WTA main draw of the year as she tries to recover from a foot injury that marred her 2010 season, stormed out to a 61 42 lead, dropping the second set but eventually closing it out, 61 57 63.

"I didn't expect to have a win over such a quality player so soon," Dellacqua said. "Coming back to the WTA level I didn't really know where I was at, but today proves I have the ability. Now it's about stringing matches like that together. Hopefully the more I play that'll come - I'm very excited."

The win over the No.20-ranked Peer was Dellacqua's sixth career Top 20 win, following two victories over Patty Schnyder and one over each of Amélie Mauresmo, Nicole Vaidisova and Marion Bartoli. Dellacqua went as high as No.39 in the world herself in 2008, but is currently sitting at No.429.

"2008 seems so long ago right now," the 26-year-old Australian added. "I was playing awesome tennis but then came the shoulder and the foot, and I feel like right now it's the beginning of my second career. Even with the time I've been out of the game, I haven't fallen behind the 8-ball too much."

Klara Zakopalova, Sofia Arvidsson and Varvara Lepchenko also moved on.

Kaia Kanepi, Galina Voskoboeva, Abigail Spears and Alison Van Uytvanck secured spots in the main draw with wins in the final round of qualies. The No.16-ranked Kanepi, who entered the tournament too late to get in the main draw, won a tight two-setter over Poland's Marta Domachowska, 76(5) 63.

"I didn't enter here because I thought I'd do better in Madrid and Rome, but I didn't, so I asked for a wildcard for the qualifications just to play some matches on clay and hopefully get some wins before Paris," Kanepi said. "I was injured before Madrid, I didn't play Stuttgart, so I didn't play too much, but I'm finding my shots again now and getting my confidence. I've done what I came here for."

Kanepi plays Yanina Wickmayer in the first round of the main draw now - Wickmayer, ranked six spots lower than Kanepi at No.22, is seeded No.6.

Along with Peer, Kanepi was also featured in the WTA's new ad campaign, Strong Is Beautiful. "It's always nice to do something different," Kanepi said. "I've been told by my parents and friends it's very cool and we all look very different and interesting - it's nice to see everyone in such interesting outfits!"

Check out imagery and video from Strong Is Beautiful right here.

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