Kleybanova Struggles In Estoril, Pous Eases Through In Barcelona
First seeded Alisa Kleybanova has reached the quarter finals at the Portuguese tournament after edging Mathilde Johansson in three sets. The Russian will next face Elena Vesnina’s killer, Kristina Barrois.
Unlike her first round victory, Kleybanova needed almost two hours in order to oust the French who was also following a straight-set win in the opener. She passed Johansson 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. Kleybanova could have finished the game earlier had she taken advantage of the 5-4 lead in the first set. Even so, she managed to come from behind and win the next two sets by three and four games respectively.
Russian’s next opponent Kristina Barrois has also progressed into the best eight without conceding any set. The German grabbed the second consecutive two-set win in Estoril after ousting Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3. In the opener, Barrois eased past Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 6-3, 6-1. The winner between the two will plat either Johanna Larsson or Alla Kudryavtseva.
Larsson stunned one of the main favorites Urszula Radwanska 6-4, 6-4, and has made the progress without dropping any set. As for Kudryavtseva, the Russian eliminated Romina Oprandi of Italy in two sets, 6-4, 7-6, though she had some hard times against Anastasia Rodionova in the first round.
On the second half of the table, Romania’s Monica Niculescu eased past Sloane Stephens of United States 6-4, 6-4, to meet Jarmila Gajdosova in the quarter finals. The Australian has also reached the best eight term with a straight-set win, beating compatriot Casey Dellacqua 6-2, 6-4.
Finally, Klara Zakopalova grabbed a three-set victory over Anastasiya Yakimova. The Czech passed the the Belarusian 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 and will next face Anabel Medina. “Actually I’ve maybe changed my mind. Before it was clay because I can run well and my serve isn’t my best shot, so it was harder for me to play on grass or other surfaces. I grew up on clay too. But now I would say my favorite surface is hardcourt,” said the 29-year-old Zakopalova.
Her next opponent, Medina took advantage of Greta Arn’s abandon to advance into the quarters. This year’s Auckland winner Arn pulled over at 2-6, 0-1 down and allowed the Spaniard move on in Portugal.
Pous advances in Barcelona
Spaniard Laura Pous has impressed in Barcelona with a second straight-set victory over Jill Craybas. Pous eased past the American 6-1, 6-1 and set a Polona Hercog meeting in the quarter finals. The Slovenian beat Mirjana Lucic 6-1, 6-2 to play Pous for the second time in career. The Spaniard leads the head to head series thanks to a two-set victory set earlier this year in Marbella.
Virginie Razzano and Roberta Vinci will also fight for a place into the semi finals. The French ousted Marion Bartoli’s killer Magdalena Rybarikova in three sets, 7-6, 1-6, 6-2 to become one of the main favorites in Barcelona. On the other side, Vinci eased past Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1, 6-4 to set a third meeting with Razzano. The 28-year-old Italian last defeated the French at the 2010 French Open.
Concerning the second half of the table, Sara Errani and Alberta Brianti are to play the third quarter final. Errani beat Maria Elena Camerin in two sets, 6-4, 6-1 and will face her compatriot for the first time in career. World number 67 edged Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 in the second round to approach her biggest success of the season.
Finally, Lucie Hradecka passed the 2011 Acapulco champion Gisela Dulko 6-4, 6-3 to reach the best eight term at the $220,000 event. The Czech will next play Estrella Cabeza who stunned Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru 7-5, 6-3 in the second round.11