Heather Heating Up In Québec

Heather Watson upset Sofia Arvidsson at the Bell Challenge on Wednesday, while Rebecca Marino won an all-Canadian affair.

Published September 14, 2011 11:37

Heather Heating Up In Québec
Heather Watson
QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - Current Canadian No.1 Rebecca Marino came up trumps in a showcase showdown with former Canadian No.1 Aleksandra Wozniak at the Bell Challenge on Wednesday night - but only just. Fourth-seeded Marino, ranked No.50 this week, edged her compatriot in three hard-fought sets to advance to the quarterfinals, 64 46 64.

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"It was a close match for sure - I was down a break in the third set," Marino said. "I was prepared for a tough battle - Aleksandra has been ranked Top 30 and I knew I'd have to bring great tennis to the table. She didn't give me many chances. I think it was a well-fought match from both of us and I'm lucky I was able to squeak it out at the end."

In the last eight of the $220,000 event Marino faces Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek, who was also taken the distance in her second round encounter with French qualifier Julie Coin, 75 46 61.

Having survived a three-setter in the first round, defending champion Tamira Paszek had an even tougher time booking her place in the last eight. The Austrian needed a minute over three hours to wear down American Varvara Lepchenko, 67(2) 63 76(4).

Considering the length of the contest, both players' serves held up well: Paszek was broken just three times, Lepchenko, four times. "The crowd really pulled me through," said Paszek, who trailed 3-1 and 4-2 in the decider, and was down two match points at 6-5. "I could hardly walk by the end but I just didn't want to leave this tournament."

Next up for the 20-year-old is 19-year-old Brit Heather Watson - one of the stars of this year's Sony Ericsson Xperia Hot Shots video series - who scored the upset of the day with her 75 63 win over 2005 runner-up Sofia Arvidsson, the No.5 seed. Watson fended off three break-back points in the final game to reach her third WTA quarterfinal of the season.

In doubles quarterfinal action, top-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears edged Melinda Czink and Andrea Hlavackova, 26 76(4) 106.

The remaining quarterfinalists will be determined on Thursday, when top seed Daniela Hantuchova faces 2009 champion Czink. Second-seeded Lucie Safarova, who was beaten by Czink in that final, plays fellow Czech Hlavackova, while No.6 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova tackles Mirjana Lucic and Marina Erakovic and Irina Falconi face off.

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