Schiavone Through To Acapulco QFs

Francesca Schiavone won back-to-back matches for the first time this year to book a quarterfinal with Carla Suárez Navarro in Acapulco.

Published February 27, 2013 11:59

Schiavone Through To Acapulco QFs
Francesca Schiavone

ACAPULCO, México - The Abierto Mexicano TELCEL has long been a popular destination on the calendar, allowing the WTA's finest to hone their game ahead of the European clay court season at one of tennis' most picturesque venues.

However, despite having enjoyed many of her best moments on the red clay, until this week, Francesca Schiavone had yet to grace the Fairmont Acapulco Princess resort.

"This is my first time in Acapulco and it's very beautiful," Schaivone said. "Other players have always told me, 'you have to come to Acapulco.'

"So finally this year I came and I think I can get some wins and also have a chance to relax a little bit, which is very important as we don't get much time to do that usually."

A late wildcard finally enticed Schiavone to México, and she has certainly made the most of her opportunity, edging past qualifier Grace Min in the first round, before booking her place in the quarterfinals with a 63 64 win over Sesil Karatantcheva on Wednesday.

"After two wins, I feel a little better," she continued. "The matches have been pretty tough, but I feel things are going better. I am looking for a better form and I think I'm finding it.

"Now I have a chance to play again and try to do as well as I can. The most important thing for me now is to try to win as many matches as I can."

The last time Schiavone won two matches in a row was at Wimbledon and if she wants to make it three she will have to up her level once more.

Meeting her for a place in the semifinals is No.2 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, who was at her fluent best in swatting aside Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, 61 62.

On the other side of the draw, top seed Sara Errani was given a more thorough workout, eventually coming through against qualifier Eugenie Bouchard, 76(4) 62.

"The match today was very tough," Errani said. "I didn't know her before the match, but she has a good game; she served well and was very aggressive."

A thigh strain picked up in Dubai last week hindered Errani's movement against Bouchard, forcing her into a mid-match tactical adjustment. "I had the problem with my leg from Dubai and it was bothering me. After it came back, I had to play much more aggressively to try to keep the points short.

"It was a long trip from Dubai and tough on me, but that's not so bad; we have great physiotherapists to help us recuperate at every tournament and we know that being tired is part of traveling and being a tennis player."

Next up for Errani is Kiki Bertens. The players last met earlier this month in Paris when a back injury forced Bertens to retire midway through the first set, and Errani is aware of the challenge ahead.

"I played her in Paris and she retired during the match. She is a really good player and has won a lot of matches this year," the Italian added. "She hits the ball really hard, and tomorrow I will have to be at my best."

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