Loit Beats Sprem; Navratilova Loses in Prague

Posted on May 12, 2006

Frenchwoman Emilie Loit dispatched Karolina Sprem “Bank” 6-4, 6-3 Thursday to set up a quarterfinal match-up with Australian doubles No.1 Samantha Stosur in Prague.

The 51st-ranked Loit will play her third quarterfinal of the year against Stosur who defeated Japan's Akiko Morigami, 6-1 6-2.

On the same side of the draw, No.7 seed Peng Shuai had little trouble with Czech qualifier Michaela Pastikova in a 6-2, 6-4 victory on Thursday. Peng will next face Magdalena Rybarikova, the Slovakian wildcard who upset No. 2-seeded Lucie Safarova in the first round. Rybarikova advanced to the quarters with a 7-6(3), 6-0 triumph over Venezuela's Milagros Sequera.

In the top part of the draw, Italian No.8 seed Maria Elena Camerin will take on Kaia Kanepi. The Estonian eliminated top seed Marion Bartoli in a three-set battle on Monday.

Israeli Shahar Peer, the No.3 seed, is up against No.8-seeded Alona Bondarenko on Friday.

In doubles action, No.1 seeds Martina Navratilova and Barbora Strycova were upset 6-4, 6-2 by Americans Ashley Harkleroad and Bethanie Mattek. Navratilova played her second match in her former homeland in two decades. She defected from the former Czechoslovakia in 1975 and became a U.S. citizen in 1981. She last played in the Czech Republic when she helped the United States win the Fed Cup in 1986. The 49-year-old said she might return next year.

"It's a pity. I hoped for a better result," Navratilova told Czech radio. "I did what I could but was not able to prevent (the loss)...We didn't play as well as we did in the first match."