ACAPULCO, México - All eight second round matches took the courts on Wednesday at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL but the two toughest were left to last, with Michaella Krajicek and Flavia Pennetta going the distance.
Krajicek's win came at the hands of No.8 seed Alberta Brianti, serving up some bombs during a 63 36 76(2) victory. While Brianti hung tough with some solid play from the baseline, Krajicek pulled out some more firepower, including on the serve - while the two had comparable numbers of double faults (Krajicek 5, Brianti 6), Krajicek was an ace machine (9 to 0). At the end of the day the 23-year-old Dutchwoman moved into her second straight WTA quarterfinal, having also gone this far at the indoor tournament in Memphis last week.
Speaking of Memphis, Sofia Arvidsson's winning streak came to an end but just barely, losing out to No.2 seed Flavia Pennetta in a match that finished at 12:21am, 26 76(5) 61. Arvidsson stormed through the first set and was up a break three times in the second set - including serving for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 - but Pennetta would not buckle, rallying from 4-2 down to take the breaker then winning six straight games from 1-0 down in the third set to seal the deal.
"Sofia was playing really aggressively from the start," Pennetta said. "I was really nervous from the beginning and felt like I was being pushed back to the baseline all the time. She was ahead so many times but each time I played much better and more aggressively. I'm so happy to get through this match tonight. It was a really tough match but really amazing at the same time.
"I have no idea what time it is now. I'm just going to try to recover for tomorrow. I don't know when I'm playing. I don't know anything!"
The other two Italian seeds in action had much simpler days, No.1 seed Roberta Vinci overcoming an early 3-1 deficit to beat Frenchwoman Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, 75 64, and No.3 seed Sara Errani surviving some tough early games then cruising against Romanian qualifier Edina Gallovits-Hall, 64 61.
"I lost to her two years ago here on the exact same court," Errani said of the tenacious Gallovits-Hall. "I've always found it difficult to play against her, but all I wanted to do today was play a good match, and I'm happy I did that."
Other winners were No.4 seed Irina-Camelia Begu, Magdalena Rybarikova, qualifier Mariana Duque-Mariño and lucky loser Estrella Cabeza Candela. Duque-Mariño pulled off a 46 61 63 upset over No.6 seed Johanna Larsson; Rybarikova outlasted Mexican wildcard Ximena Hermoso, 63 36 63.
"I feel destroyed but I'm very happy I'm in the quarterfinals," Rybarikova said. "The conditions were very tough today and she played pretty well. She's a wildcard but she's a very good player. I had to try my hardest today."
Rybarikova, who upset No.5 seed Alexandra Dulgheru in the first round, was almost unable to play this week due to illness. "I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to play this tournament and now I'm in the quarterfinals, so I'm happy. I'm playing Begu next - I've never played her but I've seen her and she's very good."
Thursday's quarterfinals pit Vinci against Krajicek, Pennetta against Duque-Mariño, Errani against Cabeza Candela and Begu against Rybarikova.