PALERMO, Italy - Germany's Anna-Lenna Friedsam knocked No.2 seed Alizé Cornet out the Ladies' Open Palermo on Wednesday, 7-5, 6-4, in the second round.
The returning German, who most recently missed over a year of competitve tennis following shoulder surgery, advanced to her second quarterfinal of the season with the victory - having first done so as a wildcard at the Nürnberger Versicherungscup in May.
"Cornet is a great player. She's in the Top 50 for such a long time, and I knew I had to play good to win this match. I think I did a very good job. In the end it was a little bit closer, but I'm glad I got through," Friedsam said.
"In the end, it was not easy, because I didn't know how she felt - I saw she didn't feel good, but then she played great again. It was not easy to finish the match, but I tried to stay with my game, and I did it in the end."
The World No.280 trailed 4-2 in the opening set, but ultimately rallied to win five of the next six games to steal the opener from the recent runner-up at the Ladies Open Lausanne.
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Friedsam saved three break points in what proved to be a crucial eighth game of the first set, as Cornet earned her only other chances to break the German's serve in the opener after having won her first to love to lead 4-2.
After breaking the Frenchwoman's serve to 15, however, Friedsam held on to claim back-to-back games, and ultimately won the last three in the opening set overall.
In a second set that was dominated by the returner, the two players combined to break serve seven times, but it seemed as though the German would ease her way to the finish line after breaking Cornet's serve a third consecutive time - and first to love - to lead, 3-2.
Friedsam notched her first hold of the set in the ensuing game, and Cornet dropped serve for a fourth time, after receiving a medical timeout, to trail 7-5, 5-2.
"Until that time, it was a close match. It was...I didn't know who would win," Friedsam said. "At 5-5 in the first set, I tried to stay aggressive, and I did a break. I'm very happy I stayed aggressive with my game, and that was the key."
The No.2 seed would not be easily beaten, however, as she broke Friedsam for a third time herself to stay alive, and later held her own serve for the first time in five games to force the 25-year-old to serve for the match once more.
The former World No.45 made no mistake on her second trip to the line, however, as she fired off a 4-0 lead in the 10th game, and wrapped up the one hour, 45-minute victory on her third match point.
Up next, Friedsam will face No.8 seed Jil Teichmann, who rallied from a break down in the second set to beat Brazilian qualifier Gabriela Cé, 6-1, 7-6(4).
"It will be a great clay court match, I think," Friedsam said of the J&T Banka Prague Open champion, who she has never faced.
"She had good tournaments this season on clay. She plays with good spin and moves well on the whole court. I think it will be a great match with a lot of rallies and I'm looking forward to it.
"Until now, I'm very happy with my season. I started in April to now, and I had a couple of good tournaments, so I'm very happy with it."