Zahlavova Strycova In Québec Quarterfinals
Published September 15, 2011 12:00
QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - The Bell Challenge's Top 2 seeds faced some fierce challenges in their second round matches Thursday, and only one of them survived to reach the quarterfinals of the International-level tournament.
No.2 seed Lucie Safarova was the first to take the court and she was the fallen one, losing to Andrea Hlavackova, 76(1) 75. Hlavackova asserted her aggressive style early, winning the first five games - and though Safarova caught up to 5-all before losing that first set, the momentum never really swung her way again, with fellow Czech Hlavackova closing it out in straight sets.
No.1 seed Daniela Hantuchova took the court for the night match and had to fight over two and a half hours but managed to make it past the tournament's 2009 champion, Melinda Czink, 67(4) 64 63. After letting go of a 4-1 lead to drop the first set Hantuchova went right to work, breaking right away - the only break of the second set - and then again breaking right away in the third set.
With Czink serving to stay in the match down 5-3 in the third set there were some inspired moments, as she saved the first three match points against her with winners - one backhand, one volley and an ace - but she missed a forehand on the fourth match point, ending the two-hour, 36-minute marathon.
Hantuchova received treatment for a foot injury in the second set.
"It has been painful for quite some time. I had the same thing in the other foot five years ago," Hantuchova said. "It started to be very painful at the start of the second set; it was so painful I almost started to cry. But I wasn't going to give up. I came here to win the tournament. I've only had three or four retirements in my entire career. There's no way I'm going to give somebody a match."
"It's hard to win a match on the fastest surface on the planet if you don't hold your serve," Czink said. "My first serve percentage was very low, probably below 50%. That's not enough against her. If I don't make a high percentage of first serves, I'm walking on thin ice. She was playing tough and hanging in there."
Earlier in the day, No.6 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova got past Mirjana Lucic, 26 61 63, and Marina Erakovic downed No.7 seed Irina Falconi, 63 26 62. Hantuchova will take on Erakovic, Zahlavova Strycova will face Hlavackova.