MEMPHIS, TN, USA - All six second round matches that were played Wednesday at the US National Indoor Tennis Championships went three sets, including Marina Erakovic's defeat of Sofia Arvidsson in a rematch of last year's final.
Arvidsson relishes this tournament more than any other, having won her only two WTA titles here in 2006 and 2012, to go along with a runner-up showing in 2010. Erakovic certainly enjoys these courts too, as she took a 10-3 main draw record in Memphis into Wednesday's tilt.
Erakovic went out to an early 61 32 lead before the second-seeded Arvidsson rallied to take the second set, but Erakovic regained control en route to a 61 36 63 victory.
"I knew it was going to be a tough one," Erakovic said. "I played really well in the first set, then she picked it up in the second set. The third was up for grabs, and we played a really high level of tennis. I'm really happy that I won today."
In another tight one, No.3 seed Sabine Lisicki dominated the first set tie-break, suffered a letdown in the second set, then jumped out to a 3-0 third set lead that she would not relinquish for a 76(0) 46 62 triumph over Melinda Czink. She fired 14 aces in the contest, her fourth win in five meetings with Czink - though all five have gone three sets.
"I only got broken once in the entire match," Lisicki said. "That's always something I'm looking for, to not get broken during a match. I served very well with a lot of aces. The first set tie-break was especially good for me, and in the third set I took my chances but was very consistent. So I'm very happy with the win and I am looking forward to playing tomorrow."
Awaiting Lisicki in the quarterfinals is No.8 seed Kristina Mladenovic, who won three straight games at 3-3 in the third set of her 61 36 63 victory over Victoria Duval. A semifinalist at her last WTA event in Paris [Indoors], Mladenovic is seeded for the first time this week.
Fourth-seeded Heather Watson started slowly against Andrea Hlavackova, but after dropping the first set won seven straight games to seize the momentum. The 26 60 63 win was her third straight against the Czech.
"I started a bit sluggish, but Andrea was playing very well," said Watson, who takes on Stefanie Voegele in the quarters. "She was hitting good shots, but I was able to find my game around 4-0 and from then on I started playing better and stayed on top."
Already with a quarterfinal appearance this year in Auckland and a semifinal showing in Hobart, No.1 seed Kirsten Flipkens assured herself of at least a quarterfinal appearance here with a 75 36 63 win over Lesia Tsurenko. She plays 2011 Memphis champion Magdalena Rybarikova next.
"It was a tough match today," Flipkens said. "I didn't feel the ball really well and my serve wasn't working as I wanted it to. But I kept fighting, and that's the most important thing in tennis. I'm happy to get through to the quarterfinals, and I'm looking forward to the match tomorrow."