German Muller Regroups for QF Effort at Portoroz
Posted on September 21, 2006
PORTOROZ, Slovenia -- It was a wicked Wednesday for seeded players at the $145,000 Banka Koper Slovenia Open, with all three seeds in action winning through to the quarterfinal round. The top half of the singles draw contested the second round on a sunny day at the SRC Marina.
Martina Muller, the No.4 seed at the Tier IV event, regrouped from a second set loss in her match to grab her 37th win of the year, 64 36 63, over lucky loser Renata Voracova.
Muller has been one of the fastest climbers on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour this season, beginning outside the Top 100 but recently making her career Top 50 and Top 40 debuts; she comes into this event ranked No.38 in the world. The rise can be largely attributed to four ITF Women's Circuit singles title runs, including two at the $75,000 level, but the German has also made quite a bit of noise on the Tour, reaching the semifinals of Budapest and notching her career-first Top 10 victory in the spring, defeating Patty Schnyder in Strasbourg.
With the early departures of top seed Katarina Srebotnik and No.3 seed Sybille Bammer, and with the pre-tournament withdrawal of Mara Santangelo, who was to be the No.2 seed, Muller is now, on paper, the tournament favorite.
Maria Elena Camerin and Tathiana Garbin made it 3-0 for seeds, the former taking down Bulgarian teen Tsvetana Pironkova, 63 63, and the latter dispatching of Switzerland's Emmanuelle Gagliardi in three sets, 63 26 62. The No.6-seeded Camerin is through to her fourth quarterfinal of the year, having gone 1-2 in her first three, reaching the semis at Forest Hills; the No.8-seeded Garbin will play her second quarterfinal of the year, having made it all the way to the Palermo final but losing to Anabel Medina Garrigues.
Martina Sucha was the only unseeded player to reach the quarters Wednesday, defeating fellow non-seed Maret Ani, 63 64. Sucha is a one-time runner-up (Rabat) and two-time quarterfinalist in 2006; she was responsible for Srebotnik's departure this week.
One first round match that was postponed from Tuesday due to darkness was also played. Georgian wild card Margalita Chakhnashvili beat Czech lucky loser Lucie Hradecka, 63 64.
The remaining four second round matches will take the court on Thursday, as No.5 seed Romina Oprandi faces Slovenian wild card Andreja Klepac; No.7 seed Emilie Loit takes on Zuzana Ondraskova; No.9 seed Jarmila Gajdosova faces Chakhnashvili; and Iveta Benesova plays Austrian wild card Tamira Paszek.