Alexandra Cadantu's second round win over Alizé Cornet went three hours, 17 minutes, making it the longest main draw match of the year.
WTA Staff

PALERMO, Italy - Romanians Alexandra Cadantu and Irina-Camelia Begu survived battles Wednesday to book XXV Italiacom Open quarterfinal spots.

Cadantu appeared to be headed toward a routine triumph over seventh-seeded Alizé Cornet when she took a 63 41 lead, even having five match points at 5-4 on Cornet's serve. And though the Frenchwoman went on to steal the set, Cadantu jumped out to a 4-1 third set lead that she would not relinquish. The 63 57 62 thriller went three hours, 17 minutes - the longest WTA main draw match of the season so far, two minutes longer than Vera Zvonareva's first round defeat of Alexandra Dulgheru at the Australian Open.

On top of that, beating the 55th-ranked Cornet gave Cadantu her greatest career victory in terms of ranking and put her into her first final eight since she reached her first career final in Monterrey in February.

From 4-4 in the third, Begu won eight straight points to close out her 36 61 64 win over Lourdes Domínguez Lino. Though it paled in comparison to Cadantu's match length, it still went two hours, 38 minutes.

Straight set second round winners were No.1 seed Sara Errani and qualifier Estrella Cabeza Candela. Errani handled Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, 63 62, while Cabeza Candela overcame a 5-1 first set deficit and five set points in her 76(3) 75 victory over Maria Elena Camerin.

Also Wednesday, the first round wrapped up, with eighth-seeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova finishing off a 75 76(3) defeat of Sílvia Soler-Espinosa - her fourth straight set win in four encounters with the Czech.

Among Thursday's featured matches is a clash between second-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci and British 18-year-old Laura Robson.

"I like this tournament and the atmosphere in this club," Vinci said. "In Palermo, my best performance is the semifinals and I hope to go further than that. My goal is to play in the final against my best friend, Sara Errani."

Also doubles partners, Errani and Vinci were named honorary members of the Country Time Club, where the tournament is held.

"I want to say thanks to Tournament Director Oliviero Palma and Country Time Club President Giorgio Cammarata for this wonderful present," Vinci said.