Former World No.26 Tamira Paszek improved to 9-0 in WTA qualifying matches this season to reach yet another main draw, plus a preview of Tuesday's main draw action.
WTA Staff

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - The comeback continued for two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist Tamira Paszek on Monday, as the Austrian dispatched 2005 French Open quarterfinalist Sesil Karatantcheva, 7-6(3), 6-4, to reach the main draw of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

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Once a Top 30 player, Paszek came back to the game last spring and has rocketed up nearly 140 spots in the rankings since last fall. Starting the season at No.172, she had to play qualifying at the ASB Classic and the Australian, going on to reach the semifinals of the former to put herself within striking distance of a Top 100 return.

"The good part about playing qualies is that you get a lot of matches, and you get a good rhythm, which is especially important at the beginning of the year," the 25-year-old told WTA Insider in January. "I've always been the type of person that tries to see the positive aspect of things, so I'm really looking forward to it."

Awaiting the Austrian in the main draw is Carina Witthoeft; the two played once before in French Open qualifying back in 2014, with Paszek winning, 6-0, 6-1.

Joining Paszek in the main draw is Klara Koukalova; the former World No.20, who took out Patricia Maria Tig, 6-4, 6-3.

All four qualifiers will be in action again on Tuesday, along with Fed Cup heroines Monica Niculescu - who nearly led an upset of defending champion Czech Republic with a win over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova - and Barbora Strycova, who took part in the decisive doubles rubber to defeat Romania, 3-2.

Niculescu begins her tournament as the No.9 seed - so bumped when Anna Karolina Schmiedlova withdrew due to a right ankle sprain - and takes on local wildcard Natalia Vikhlyantseva. Strycova takes on one of the qualifiers, Kateryna Kozlova; Kozlova defeated top qualifying seed Laura Siegemund, but the German nonetheless found her way into the main draw as a lucky loser.

Closing out play on Tuesday will be a pair of Russians, No.5 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and the fast-rising Margarita Gasparyan, who take on Koukalova and Bojana Jovanovski, respectively.