Sat, Feb 01, 2014 - Page 8 News List

Second seed Kvitova pulls out, Cornet advances


France’s Alize Cornet returns to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic in their WTA Paris Open match in France on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Second seed Petra Kvitova pulled out of the WTA Paris Open on Thursday citing respiratory problems, with organizers giving her place to a lucky loser.

Kvitova of the Czech Republic withdrew ahead of her second-round match with France’s Alize Cornet.

Cornet went on to defeat Kvitova’s compatriot, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 74th in the WTA rankings, 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3.

“I was absolutely intent on playing today, but I had to see my doctor as I wasn’t feeling well,” Kvitova said.

“I’ve got a sore throat and after practicing this morning I realized that after 10 minutes I wasn’t able to breathe, so unfortunately I was forced to withdraw,” she said.

Kvitova, ranked sixth in the world, won the Paris Open in 2011.

Cornet needed four match points to see off her Czech opponent, who had originally lost in qualifying.

She nexts play Germany’s world No. 39, Andrea Petkovic, who put out France’s 62nd-ranked Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-2.

Mladenovic had only returned to Paris on Monday after winning the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Canada’s Daniel Nestor.

After putting in a fine performance to knock out world No. 10 Simona Halep on Wednesday, she ran out of steam in the second round.

“After traveling for 30 hours, I came straight to training and my neck problems returned on Thursday,” Mladenovic said. “At the start of the match, I couldn’t serve and the injury limited my movement.”

Also on Thursday, Belgian eighth seed Kirsten Flipkens beat Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-3 and next faces top seed Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals.

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina put out Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-1, 6-2.

She nexts face Italian third seed Sara Errani, who saw off compatriot Karin Knapp 6-4, 6-3.

The other quarter-final sees Germany’s Angelique Kerber face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.


AFP, PATTAYA, Thailand

Seeds Elena Vesnina and Peng Shuai reached the quarter-finals of the Pattaya Open on Thursday, joining unseeded Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm, who defeated Tadeja Majeric of Slovenia 7-6 (7/4) 6-3.

Russia’s Vesnina beat Thai wild-card Nicha Lertpitaksinchai 6-3, 6-3, while China’s Peng overcame a strong challenge from Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru to win 6-3, 6-4.

Vesnina struggled to make any impression on Lertpitaksinchai’s serve in the early stages. The Thai gave up just one point in her first three service games and held a break point to lead 4-3, but she sent a forehand wide and then surrendered her own serve in the next game to leave Vesnina serving for the set.

In the second set, Lertpitaksinchai fought off four break points, broke for 3-1 and held two game points to lead 4-1, but Vesnina fought off that threat, leveled at 3-3 and went on to win the final 12 points of the match.

“She was serving pretty good today,” Vesnina said. “She was changing direction, at the beginning serving flat and then a little more spin. [At the end] she kind of dropped her level a little bit and I raised my level up. I stopped doing easy mistakes on my backhand side and I really had two good games on my serve, first-serve aces and really good placement.”

Peng was stretched by Dulgheru, taking the first set, but then allowing her momentum to slip.

The Romanian took charge of the second set to lead 4-1, but Peng staged a gallant comeback to claim the next five games and a place in the quarter-finals.

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