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Suárez Secures Spot In Florianopolis QFs

Carla Suárez Navarro and defending champion Monica Niculescu both won on Wednesday to set up a quarterfinal clash at the Brasil Tennis Cup.

Published February 26, 2014 12:13

Suárez Secures Spot In Florianopolis QFs
Carla Suárez Navarro

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil - Top-seeded Carla Suárez Navarro overcame a rain delay at an inopportune time on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Brasil Tennis Cup.

After winning the first set against Kiki Bertens, the Spaniard staved off two set points down 5-4 in the second. But after leveling the set at 5-5 and seizing back the momentum, a light drizzle forced the players to leave the court. Suárez Navarro finished off the 63 76(2) victory when they returned.

"It was a difficult match," Suárez Navarro said. "Kiki played really well and I had to fight off two set points. I changed some things after the rain delay and was able to win the tie-break."

Next up for Suárez Navarro is No.5 seed and defending champion Monica Niculescu.

"She's a different player because she has a slice forehand," Suárez Navarro said of the Romanian. "That's not easy to deal with. I want to play my game and play more solid than I did today. It will be a difficult match."

Niculescu reached her third WTA quarterfinal of the year at the tournament where she captured her lone WTA title a year ago with a 63 61 defeat of qualifier Danka Kovinic.

"Even though the score was 63 61, I had to fight like crazy for every point," Niculescu said. "She was hitting very hard. I had to be on my feet and always be ready because she was hitting big winners. She's such a short player but can produce so much power with her serve. One time she hit an ace that was 190 kilometers per hour. I knew I had to give her deep balls and high balls because she likes the balls low. So, it was not an easy match today."

Also facing off in Thursday's quarterfinals will be third-seeded Klara Zakopalova and qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru. Zakopalova was a 63 63 winner for the second straight day, this time over qualifier Alizé Lim. Dulgheru beat Brazilian No.1 Teliana Pereira, 75 62, to book her first quarterfinal berth since Miami in March 2011.

Another qualifier, Alison Van Uytvanck, was a 62 62 victor over No.8 seed Paula Ormaechea in the day's lone upset. Her opponent in her second WTA quarterfinal will be No.2 seed Garbiñe Muguruza.

"I'm quite happy coming from qualies and winning four matches in a row," Van Uytvanck said. "I'm going to play my game and be aggressive. Just be positive and confident. We'll see what happens."

Among those securing doubles semifinal spots were top-seeded Vania King and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, who finished off their rain-delayed first round match and won their quarterfinal match.

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