Kuzmova downs Dart to meet Fernandez in Monterrey

After defeating compatriot Heather Watson in the 1st round, Britain’s Harriet Dart was eliminated in the 2nd round of the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico, on Wednesday, by Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova, 6-4 6-3.

Kuzmova, who is ranked 151 in the world, will play a quarter-final against Leylah Fernandez after the Canadian’s 6-1 6-4 win over another Slovakian in Kristina Kucova.

Kocuva eliminated top seed Sloane Stephens on Tuesday in straight sets but could not find the answers against the 88th ranked teenager.

The 18-year old Canadian had a wider variety of shot, kept Kucova pinned behind the baseline and used her drop-shot to great effect, needing just over an hour to complete her win.

Fernandez built a 5-1 lead before serving out the first set to love, but the second was a much tighter affair as Kucova found her range on her groundstrokes.

The Canadian again used her drop-shot to help carve out a crucial break for 5-4, and took the match at her first opportunity without dropping a point to reach the quarter-finals.

Another Slovakian, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, beat Italy’s Jasmine Paolini, 2-6 6-2 6-2, and will play the Spanish 7th seed, Sara Sorribes Tormo, who progressed via walkover from her scheduled 2nd round match against Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan.

Earlier in the week, Paolini had upset Nao Hibino, the No 9 seed from Japan in 3 sets.

Meanwhile Britain’s Heather Watson teamed up with Saisai Zheng from China in the doubles to beat Russia’s Varvara Gracheva & Kaja Juva from Slovenia, 2-6 6-1 [10-7] and will next meet the top seeds Desirae Krawczyk from the US & Mexico’s Giuliana Olmos in the quarters on Thursday.



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