Krajicek, Smashnova Winners at WTA Palermo

Posted on July 18, 2006

PALERMO, Italy -- In her first Palermo appearance, No.3 seed Michaella Krajicek survived a tough 61 67(3) 75 battle on Monday against wild card Emmanuelle Gagliardi to advance to the second round of the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo. The $145,000 event is the first of two back-to-back Tier IV European clay court events before the American hard court swing.

Krajicek is hoping to continue on clay where she left off at her home event on grass. Last month at 's-Hertogenbosch, the Dutch teenager captured her third and biggest Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title of her career, defeating top seed Elena Dementieva in the semifinals and Dinara Safina in the final. Despite the successful preparation, she made a first round exit at Wimbledon but hopes to return to her winning ways again this week. Her next opponent here is either Ekaterina Bychkova or a qualifier.

Fifth-seeded Anna Smashnova eliminated Yuliana Fedak, 63 62, to set up a second round encounter with wild card Tathiana Garbin. Smashnova had a good showing here six years ago when she ousted Anabel Medina Garrigues (seeded No.2 this year) en route to the semifinals. The former Top 20 player has posted some impressive clay court results in her 15-year career. In 1994, she upset then-world No.5 Jana Novotna in the first round of Roland Garros and in 2003 she won consecutive titles at Sopot and Helsinki.

No.6 seed Klara Koukalova also punched her ticket to the second round by defeating Stephanie Foretz, 64 62. The 24-year-old Czech hopes to repeat her impressive performance here from last year when she made a run to the final. As the No.5 seed, she notched her 200th career match victory by defeating Flavia Pennetta (seeded No.1 this year) in the semis. She's now up against Roberta Vinci, a 75 64 winner over Kaia Kanepi.

On Tuesday, Medina Garrigues will play countrywoman Laura Pous Tio on centre court, while No.4 seed Lucie Safarova will take on Ivana Abramovic.
-- WTA