Ivanovic, Hantuchova Win Openers
Published June 08, 2011 07:50
BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom - After first round byes, No.2 seed Ana Ivanovic and No.4 seed Daniela Hantuchova stamped their respective marks on the AEGON Classic by recording impressive second round wins on a rainy Wednesday. Local favorite Heather Watson also backed up her first round win with a straight sets defeat of Misaki Doi, 62 64.
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Wildcard Ivanovic, playing at the Edgbaston Priory Club for the first time since 2004 - it was only her second WTA event - powered past young Georgian Anna Tatishvili in 44 minutes, 61 60. For her part, Hantuchova didn't face a single break point against Sorana Cirstea as she cruised to victory, 60 63.
"I'm really enjoying my time on court," said the 28-year-old Slovak, who beat Caroline Wozniacki at Roland Garros for her first win over a reigning world No.1. "I'm not putting any pressure on myself. I didn't expect it to be so easy, it was my first match on grass... I'm definitely on the right track."
Next up for Hantuchova is Russian No.16 seed Alla Kudryavtseva, who edged Australia's resurgent Casey Dellacqua, 75 36 64. Canadian No.13 seed Rebecca Marino also advanced at the expense of Japanese qualifier Rika Fujiwara, 61 62, but it was far from a seamless day for the seeds.
Andrea Hlavackova, still buzzing from her French Open doubles title with fellow Czech Lucie Hradecka, reeled in an early break to dispatch ninth seed Ayumi Morita, 76(2) 62; and Kiwi Marina Erakovic continued her comeback from hip problems with a close fought upset of No.11 seed Yaroslava Shvedova, 76(7) 75.
China's Peng Shuai, the No.3 seed, narrowly averted disaster against British qualifier Naomi Broady, 62 67(5) 76(2). But in the upset of the day, reigning Eastbourne champion and Birmingham No.6 seed Ekaterina Makarova was beaten by Austria's Tamira Paszek, 64 36 64.
Other wins were posted by seventh seed Sara Errani, who beat Christina McHale in three; Sabine Lisicki, who held off Kirsten Flipkens in a second set tie-break; and 2010 semifinalist Alison Riske, who stopped German qualifier Sarah Gronert 63 64.
"I think I did five warm-ups, which is a record for me personally," said 105th-ranked Riske after the oft-interrupted match. "But it's the same for everyone. I was fortunate to be first on, so I can't complain."
Riske plays No.8 seed Aravane Rezai in the third round. Other Thursday match-ups see Watson go up against Peng, and Ivanovic tackle Marino.