Tennis-X Blog: Roddick, Schiavone Sliding Along on Grass Wednesday; Thursday Previews
No matter what big names are on court, that gets trumped when a player saves eight match points to advance.
Former French Open champ Francesca Schiavone saved eight match points in a 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(8) win over Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu on Wednesday at the Unicef Open in the Netherlands. For her troubles the Italian will next in the quarterfinals get former No. 1 Kim Clijsters.
“When I started the tiebreak, I said, ‘Francesca, come on, pay attention and take two or three of the first six or seven points.’ Nothing, 6-0,” Schiavone said. “I went to the other side and told myself there is not too big a difference in winning or lose one point, so keep going and push. We will see what happens. And then I won.”
Also Thursday at ‘s-Hertogenbosch will be (3) Dominika Cibulkova vs. (8) Nadia Petrova. On the men’s side Wednesday (1) David Ferrer advanced while (3) Jurgen Melzer was upset by Japan’s Tatsuma Ito, and (8) Lukasz Kubot was ousted by France’s Benoit Paire. Xavier “X-Man” Malisse vs. the big server Gilles Muller of Luxembourg is one of the men’s highlights Thursday.
No one fought off eight match points at the AEGON International in Eastbourne Wednesday, but there were bigger dogs making noise.
Andy Roddick, desperately looking to find his grass court legs before Wimbledon, notched a 6-2, 7-6(6) win over France’s Jeremy Chardy to move into the quarterfinals, where he will meet Italian Fabio Fognini. Fognini on Wednesday toppled (4) Bernard Tomic in three sets.
Advancing were (3) Andreas Seppi and (7) Philipp Kohlschreiber, while (2) Marcel Granollers lost in a third-set breaker to Denis Istomin. Istomin on Thursday will meet American Ryan Harrison, who bested grass court upset king Yen-Hsun Lu 6-1, 7-6(2).
On the women’s side in Eastbourne, two seeds bit it in three sets when Austrian Tamira Paszek topped (8) Daniela Hantuchova, and Czech Klara Zakopalova upset (9) Petra Cetkovska. Also into the quarters were (4) Marion Bartoli, (5) Angelique Kerber, and (7) Lucie Safarova.
“Kim is different on grass,” Bartoli commented on Clijsters and Venus Williams being unseeded at Wimbledon next week. “She hasn’t had the same results as Venus. But Venus being unseeded is a bit hard. I hope she’s not going to draw Serena first round. We will see how the draw comes out. But if Venus is unseeded, for sure the draw is going to be hard for whoever draws her in the first or second round. I love challenges, but I hope not too early.”
American Christina McHale, who the previous day uprooted seed and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, lost in three to Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Thursday will feature (4) Bartoli vs. (7) Safarova, and (5) Kerber vs. Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who earlier in the event beat reigning Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova.
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