Fri, May 04, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Wawrinka, Gasquet ease through

AFP, ESTORIL, PORTUGAL

Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka returns to Ivan Navarro of Spain in their Estoril Open singles match at the Jamor complex in Oeiras, Portugal, on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA

Swiss third seed Stanislas Wawrinka eased into the third round of the Estoril Open on Wednesday, recording a 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 win over Spaniard Ivan Navarro at a rain-hit Estadio Nacional.

World No. 22 Wawrinka, seeded behind Juan Martin del Potro and Frenchman Richard Gasquet, needed an hour to get through the first set against a clay specialist ranked No. 232 and playing only his second ATP-level match of the season.

Gasquet, a finalist in Estoril in 2007, enjoyed a trouble-free encounter in what was his first clay-court match of the campaign with a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi.

Gasquet improved to 12-8 this year after reaching four quarter-finals in the first two months of the year.

“It was a good result for me, I cannot complain. I’ve played a final here, so I know about the conditions,” Gasquet said. “The wind is not a problem for me, I don’t mind playing in it.”

Wawrinka, twice a semi-finalist on clay this season, had a really tough battle with Navarro in the first set on a day of blowing rain squalls and wind, which lowered temperatures and made conditions heavy underfoot.

“It was tough conditions today with the wind and rain,” Wawrinka said. “My opponent had some experience here as he had come from qualifying. It was a tough first round, but one that I’m happy I won.”

Wawrinka went down a break 2-4 in the first set, but got it straight back before winning a tiebreaker where Navarro saved four set points. In the second set, the 27-year-old Swiss ran away with the victory in fewer than 90 minutes, with six aces against an opponent whose only victory over him came nine years ago at the Futures level.

In the women’s singles, top seed Roberta Vinci of Italy dispatched Portuguese hope Maria Joao Koehler 6-2, 6-0, but Italy’s Karin Knapp upset second seed Maria Kirilenko 1-6, 6-1, 7-5.

Zheng Jie of China, the winner in 2005 and the fifth seed, lost 6-4, 6-1 to Kazak Galina Voskoboeva.

Sixth seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia put out the last American in the field by defeating Vania King 6-3, 6-4, while seventh-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova reached the quarter-finals after Australian Jarmila Gajdosova retired hurt after losing the opening set 7-6 (7/2).

The same fate befell eighth seed Polona Hercog, as the Slovenian had to quit trailing 6-4, 3-0 against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

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