Hantuchova's Happy Birthday Win
Published April 23, 2014 12:12
MARRAKECH, Morocco - Top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova continued her dominance of Lourdes Domínguez Lino in the second round of the Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem on Wednesday, though this time she was tested.
Hantuchova came into the match 6-0 against the Spaniard, but 2013 Marrakech runner-up Domínguez Lino actually served for the first set this time. However, Hantuchova took over from there in winning five straight games and the last 12 points of her 75 62 triumph that came on her 31st birthday. She is now 14-1 in sets in their head-to-head, with ironically her one loss of a set being a 6-0 defeat in Fed Cup play in 2012.
"I have so much respect for her," Hantuchova said. "I know her track record and I knew it wasn't going to be easy. In this kind of tournament, you have to be ready for every single match and just take it one step at a time.
"It's always special to have my birthday here in Marrakech. I love being here. It's a beautiful place. For now, I'm just going to enjoy it with my mom."
After having not made a WTA quarterfinal all year before Charleston, Hantuchova is now into her second straight. The Slovak will next take on No.6 seed Peng Shuai, who rallied from a 5-2, two-break second set deficit in her 64 76(5) win over Maryna Zanevska.
Muguruza, who made her first WTA quarterfinal at this tournament in 2012, was a 63 62 winner over Stefanie Voegele. Peer survived Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, 76(4) 46 76(3), despite the Austrian serving for the match twice in the third set. The duel lasted three hours and 12 minutes, tied for the fifth-longest match of the year and coming a day after Maria Sharapova beat Lucie Safarova in Stuttgart in the third-longest match of the year.
The first round also wrapped up, with Polona Hercog a 62 62 winner over No.7 seed Zhang Shuai - the fourth seed to fall in her opener. The victory was especially sweet for Hercog, in that she had played all of one game this year prior to Wednesday. She retired early in her first round match against Alizé Cornet at the Australian Open with a right shoulder injury, and a right rib injury caused her to miss subsequent events.