Top seed Barbora Strycova survived another late push from a rising star to advance to the last eight in Biel/Bienne.
WTA Staff

BIEL/BIENNE, Switzerland - Top seed Barbora Strycova was made to work to reach the quarterfinals at the Ladies Open Biel Bienne on Thursday, dispatching Germany's Carina Witthoeft in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6(6).

Broken just once in the nearly two-hour encounter, Strycova was in control of the match at a set and 5-3 before Witthoeft mounted a comeback. Winning three games, the German youngster engineered two set points in the 12th game only for Strycova to save both and edge to victory in a tie-break.

"I was playing a good match, I have to say," she told WTA Insider after the match. "I felt great on the court, serving for the match at 5-4. I didn't make it there but Carina was playing amazing tennis and it was a tough game for me with all the long rallies.

"I'm happy I made it through because the tie-break was on and off. My serve was also working well in the end."

Thriving on the new indoor hardcourts, she struck 35 winners to 25 unforced errors, dictating play to the detriment of the typically big-hitting Witthoeft, who hit just 14 winners and unforced errors each.

"The center court is very nice to play on. I'd say it's a medium speed, not too fast, and it's really nice to move on it. The ball is a little bit heavier, but otherwise the conditions are nice."

The Czech veteran advances to her third quarterfinal of the season but first since the Apia International Sydney. Standing between her and a spot in the semifinals is No.7 seed Julia Goerges, who ousted Oceane Dodin in straight sets on Wednesday.

"We always have tough matches against each other, and she's a tough opponent to play, especially on this surface. I think she likes to play on these kinds of courts, so I'm looking forward to it.

"I'm very happy I won these two matches and it'll be a big battle tomorrow. I'll try to enjoy myself and do my best."

Playing in the tournament's inaugural year, the top seed has nonetheless found time to explore the city and take in all Biel/Bienne has to offer.

"It's a small city, and the old part is very nice. I went there with my boyfriend the other night and we walked around a little bit. The 15th century church is beautiful.

"It's nice, but it's a small city, and they make great watches here!"