More Favorites Fall In Luxembourg
Published October 20, 2011 08:50
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Qualifiers Anne Keothavong and Bibiane Schoofs stole the show with surprise wins in second round action Thursday at an upset-ridden BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open in which only two seeded players remain.
Despite starting in a 3-0 hole, Keothavong won seven straight games en route to eliminating Ana Ivanovic, 63 62. In beating the 23rd-ranked Ivanovic, the Brit accomplished her career-best win in terms of ranking, surpassing her triumph over the 25th-ranked Agnes Szavay at Hobart in 2009. Also, this is her best showing since her semifinal appearance here last year.
"It's the first time we've played each other. I played well," Keothavong said of her triumph over the No.5 seed Ivanovic. "It was a bit of a difficult match to play. She works with Nigel Sears now, who last year when I made the semifinals here was working with me. So from that point of view, it's a bit strange seeing someone you know very well sitting in the opposition's box."
Keothavong looked ahead to her Friday quarterfinal against Schoofs.
"Bibi had a good win today. She also came through qualifying," Keothavong said. "I'm expecting another tough match and I can't take anything for granted. I've never made the final of a WTA event. I've got to take it one match at a time, but if I can do it, it'd be wonderful."
Schoofs showed her first round victory on Wednesday over Angelique Kerber was no fluke. She said after that three set win she had nothing to lose, with this being her very first WTA event. Once again Thursday against Rebecca Marino, she got off to a slow start and lost the first set, this time 6-1. And once again she rallied from there, wining the second set 6-1, and after exchanging 10 holds of serve to start the third set, she got the key break to go up 6-5, and served out the match from there.
"She was serving well until the last game when she missed a few first serves," Schoofs said. "I was able to get back her serves and get into the rallies easier, giving me an opportunity to break her and then I got to serve with new balls."
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka had the easiest path into the quarterfinals, disposing of Alberta Brianti, 60 61.
"I knew that she has a good slice and I adapted well to it," said Azarenka, who plays Iveta Benesova next. "My game plan was pretty good today, as was my execution. I didn't really give her a chance to hurt me with that shot."
Also advancing were Anastasija Sevastova and Lucie Hradecka. Sevastova routed Simona Halep, 62 62, to set up an encounter with No.6 seed Julia Goerges, whom she just lost to in a third set tie-break in Linz last week despite having two match points. Hradecka beat qualifier Alexandra Cadantu, 63 64, and will play Monica Niculescu.