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Defending Champ Errani Advances

Fresh off her run to the final in Dubai, Sara Errani was victorious in her Abierto Mexicano TELCEL opener on Tuesday.

Published February 26, 2013 11:13

Defending Champ Errani Advances
Sara Errani

ACAPULCO, México - Sara Errani's title defense at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL got off to a promising start on Tuesday, as the Italian recorded a routine victory over Alexandra Cadantu.

Errani came into this week with plenty of confidence, as her last three WTA outings were a run to the final in Paris [Indoors], a quarterfinal appearance in Doha and another runner-up showing in Dubai last week. She showed off that confidence in her 63 62 triumph over Cadantu, whom she also beat easily in their one other meeting in Palermo last year.

"I'm still recovering from the travel," Errani said. "I only had one day to practice before my first match. Last week I played a lot of matches and physically it's not easy to make all the changes to come play here, but I'm getting used to it, little by little. It was a good match considering the complications of adjusting to such a big change in time zones, so I'm very happy to be able to continue on.

"The fans give me a lot of support here and it really helps me to feel their energy. There are a lot more people here this year, which is really good for the tournament and great to see."

Next up for the top-seeded Errani is 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who came back from a 5-1 deficit in the first set tie-break of her 76(5) 63 defeat of Eva Birnerova.

"Eva can hit some really amazing shots, but she can also miss a few," Bouchard said. "It's all about staying mentally strong and fighting for every point, which was the key when I got down in the tie-break.

"I've played four matches here after going through qualifying, so I'm really used to the conditions. I've had a few tough weeks the past few weeks, but I've found my rhythm and I'm playing well this week."

In addition to Errani, another player with fond memories of Acapulco is Alizé Cornet, who made her first WTA final here in 2008. The third-seeded Frenchwoman got past Catalina Castaño, 61 26 63, winning five of the last six games from 2-1 down in the third set.

Two other seeds also needed three sets to advance, sixth-seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone and eighth-seeded Swiss Romina Oprandi.

The 32-year-old Schiavone was a 64 46 62 winner over a player 14 years her junior, Grace Min. Oprandi took down another American, scoring a 64 26 75 defeat of Alexa Glatch. Her only other encounter with Glatch also was a tight one, as she escaped with a 7-5 win in the third set of their ITF Women's Circuit final in Las Vegas in 2011.

No.2 seed Carla Suárez Navarro had the most lopsided scoreline of the day, losing the first game and then none the rest of the way for a 61 60 rout of Mathilde Johansson - just her second win in five meetings with the Frenchwoman.

"It was a good match," Suárez Navarro said. "The score doesn't reflect how difficult it was. She has an aggressive style of play and hits a lot of flat balls that come at you very fast. Physically, I need to be really ready for her style of play. I've played here a few times and it's tough because of the heat and humidity, but I really like it and I like Acapulco. It's a good tournament."

All eight second round matches are on Wednesday's schedule.

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