World No. 1 Serena Williams survived a late second set hiccup to move into the quarter-finals of the Swedish Open with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili.
The US star remains unbeaten on clay this season after winning 25 straight matches including a perfect run on the way to her second French Open title and 16th Grand Slam singles crown last month. She now faces Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino. Williams was cruising after sealing the first set and easing into a 5-0 second set lead before wasting three match points and finally closing out the match 6-3.
The other quarter-final match-ups feature Dutch hope Richel Hogenkamp against Czech Republic third seed Klara Zakopalova while French veteran Virginie Razzano takes on Italy’s Flavia Pennetta. Pennetta was 2-0 up in the final set against second seed Simona Halep in their second round match before the Romanian retired injured. The final last eight tie sees eighth seeded Johanna Larsson taking on Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson.
AP, BAD GASTEIN, Austria
Annika Beck of Germany came from behind to beat Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and reach her fifth quarter-final of the season at the Gastein Ladies on Thursday.
The second-seeded Beck double-faulted five times in the opening set and saved 12 break points in total. She will next play eighth-seeded Karin Knapp of Italy.
Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat sixth-seeded Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 and will face Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in the last eight. Svilotina managed to claim only four points against Scheepers’ serve in the second set, but broke her opponent four times in the decider.
Yvonne Meusburger of Austria, who reached the final in 2007, defeated third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-3, 6-3. Meusburger, who reached the final in Budapast last week, converted seven of 10 break points.
Meusburger will next play Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, who rallied from a set and a break down to beat Estrella Cabeza Candela of Spain 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.
Mayr-Achleitner became the third Austrian player after Meusburger and Lisa-Maria Moser to reach the quarter-finals by defeating Petra Martic of Croatia 6-4, 6-4.
AFP, STANFORD, California
Reigning Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has pulled out of next week’s WTA Tour Stanford tournament with a strained hamstring.
The withdrawal of former winner Bartoli robs the event of another top draw, coming just three days after world No. 2 Maria Sharapova pulled out with an injury.
The absence of France’s Bartoli, who is ranked seventh in the world, leaves Agnieszka Radwanska (No. 4) as the only player ranked in the top 10 in the world left in the 28-player field.