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Kirilenko & Medina Out, Eight Left In Estoril

Sílvia Soler-Espinosa upset Anabel Medina Garrigues to reach her first WTA quarterfinal.

Published May 02, 2012 12:00

Kirilenko & Medina Out, Eight Left In Estoril
Silvia Soler-Espinosa

ESTORIL, Portugal - Two big upsets rocked the Estoril Open on Wednesday, as two of the Top 3 seeds - Maria Kirilenko and Anabel Medina Garrigues - were ousted in the second round of the International-level clay court event.

The No.2-seeded Kirilenko was the first to fall, although she very nearly didn't - leading 5-1 in the third set she succumbed to Italian qualifier Karin Knapp, who won six games in a row for a 16 61 75 upset. Only one of the six games went to deuce - Knapp won 25 of the last 34 points against the World No.19.

Knapp, a former World No.35 who is currently working her way back up the rankings at No.133, recorded her third Top 20 win, having beaten then-No.17 Anna-Lena Groenefeld in 2006 and then-No.13 Patty Schnyder in 2008.

Shortly afterwards, Sílvia Soler-Espinosa won an all-Spanish duel with No.3 seed Medina Garrigues, saving a match point down 5-4 in the third set en route to a 36 63 75 victory. The 24-year-old is now in her first WTA quarterfinal.

"It was our first time playing and it was really tough," Soler-Espinosa said. "She plays really well on clay and was playing a lot of spin to my backhand. She was doing it really well in the first set. But at the end I was able to get to my forehand more. She wished me good luck for the tournament afterwards."

Those weren't the only upsets, with Galina Voskoboeva taking out No.5 seed Zheng Jie, 64 61, and Carla Suárez Navarro leading No.9 seed Polona Hercog 64 30 when the Slovenian had to retire due to a right foot injury.

"Zheng Jie is a great player and I was expecting a tough match," Voskoboeva said. "It was really windy, rainy and cold in the first set, and I was expecting they would stop the match but they didn't, so it was tough conditions. But I've had some very good preparation recently and was very focused today."

Voskoboeva started 2011 ranked outside the Top 600 and is currently in the Top 50. Read about her rise in Alina & Galina: Making The Journey Together.

Suárez Navarro will now face Soler-Espinosa, and the two have a very special connection: "We share a coach and we're staying in the same room at the hotel!" Soler-Espinosa said. "We're good friends and for sure after the match we will still be good friends and go for dinner. We'll see how it goes tomorrow!"

No.1 seed Roberta Vinci won the last eight games of her match and needed a total of just 59 minutes to cruise past Portuguese wildcard Maria Joao Koehler, 62 60. No.4 seed Petra Cetkovska, No.6 seed Kaia Kanepi and No.7 seed Nadia Petrova also won through - Kanepi had the toughest match of the bunch, battling almost two hours to beat Vania King, 63 64.

"The conditions were very tough and we had a lot of long rallies, and I'm happy I could win today," Kanepi said. "I'm feeling very well and healthy right now. It's my third clay court tournament and I feel like I'm improving every match."

The quarterfinals are Thursday, with Vinci playing Petrova, Cetkovska playing Kanepi, Voskoboeva playing Knapp and Suárez Navarro playing Soler-Espinosa.

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