Chakvetadze, Mirza Winners Wednesday in Cincy

Posted on July 19, 2007

CINCINNATI, OH, USA - Anna Chakvetadze led a seeded charge into the quarters of the Western Southern Financial Group Women's Open, as second round action began at the $175,000, Tier III event on Wednesday. Sania Mirza was also among the winners.

Chakvetadze, seeded No.1, played under the lights for the second straight night, and for the second straight time won in straight sets, defeating Romanian qualifier Anda Perianu, 64 63. Chakvetadze dropped the first two games of the match, but aside from that was solid on all fronts, save maybe her serve, which made eight double faults.

"I wasn't ready from the beginning, but I have to say my opponent played pretty well today," Chakvetadze said. "I think I can play better and I can improve, but I played better than yesterday. Every match I hope to play better and better."

Part of Chakvetadze's difficulties with Perianu came from the Romanian having competed mainly on the ITF Circuit previously. She had never faced a Top 30 player let alone a Top 10 player, and so the Russian had to improvise.

"I hadn't played against her and I'd never watched her play so I didn't know what to expect," Chakvetadze said. "Usually I go to see my next opponent's match but I think I was practicing during her match yesterday. Well I watched her today!"

Mirza needed much less time on court to make her third consecutive quarterfinal here in Cincinnati, defeating Uzbekistani Varvara Lepchenko, 62 62, in one hour and eight minutes. The No.3-seeded Mirza was particularly effective on returns, breaking a shell-shocked Lepchenko a total of five times during the match.

"I hadn't played her in like seven years - I mean we played under 13s together - but I kind of knew what I had to do today," Mirza said. "I think I'm getting used to the court more after having played a few matches in singles and doubles. I feel like I'm hitting the ball better now. I just want to keep going, keep improving."

Mirza has been a quarterfinalist here in both of her previous appearances, losing to Akiko Morigami in 2005 and to Patty Schnyder last year. Her loss to Morigami came in two quick sets, but last year she gave Schnyder an exciting fight, holding set point in a tie-break and hanging tough in the second before falling, 76(7) 75.

"It's funny, when I was deciding my schedule I wanted to skip Cincinnati, but my dad said 'Oh, but you always play well in Cincinnati,'" Mirza said. "The conditions suit me and the court suits my game. I play well. I also like the city because it feels a lot like India here because of the conditions. I've played well here all three years that I've come here, and I hope to win my next match."

Also moving into the quarterfinals were No.7 seed Morigami, who eased past Angelique Kerber, 62 62, and unseeded Ohio native Lilia Osterloh, who overcame a 3-1 first set deficit to defeat Georgian qualifier Anna Tatishvili, 75 61.

The last first round match was also played Wednesday, with China's Yuan Meng beating Australia's Casey Dellacqua, 64 46 62.

The first doubles quarterfinal was played, as Alina Jidkova and Tatiana Poutchek upset No.2 seeds Natalie Grandin and Camille Pin, 76(2) 61. The last two first round matches were also played, with Latvian-Turkish pair Liga Dekmeijere and Ipek Senoglu and American-Russian duo Osterloh and Anastasia Rodionova winning through.

The remaining four second round singles matches, as well as two of the three doubles quarterfinals that are left, will take the court Thursday. (WTA)