London | WTA Roundup: Kontaveit makes Hamburg quarters while Zhang pulls out of Palermo

Hamburg, Germany – WTA 250 Hamburg European Open

Top-seed Anett Kontaveit defeated Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson, 6-3 6-2, to advance to the quarter-finals of the Hamburg European Open in Germany on Wednesday, setting up a contest with last year’s finalist and home favourite Andrea Petkovic, the 8th seed.

It’s always great to play a crowd favourite [Andrea Petkovic], but it’s going to be a tough match for sure. We had some nice battles before, and I am looking forward to it. Anett Kontaveit

The Estonian World No 2 broke Peterson’s service 5 times in their 91-minute encounter to reach the Last 8 for only the second time since February after her season was disrupted by a coronavirus infection in the spring.

Improving her perfect record against Peterson to 3-0, the two having first played each other in an ITF $10K event in Stockholm in 2011, Kontaveit kept her cool on a sunny day, with temperatures near 40 degrees Celsius in Northern Germany, playing on the suffocating heat of Center Court at the Rothenbaum Tennis Club, where she converted 3 of her 6 break-point chances to prevail after an hour and 31 minutes.

“It was a very competitive first set,” the 26-year-old Estonian said after the match. “I was feeling more and more comfortable on the court when the match went on, gaining some confidence.

“My level was improving throughout the match, which I was very happy about,.

Asked about the conditions, Kontaveit responded: “When we started our match a breeze came up and made it a bit easier for us, physically.

“It is a good challenge for me to play in hot conditions and a way to improve my fitness.”

Up next for the Tallin native is Petkovic, the tournament ambassador and the last German standing in the singles draws of the WTA 250 event.

“It’s always great to play a crowd favourite, but it’s going to be a tough match for sure,” said Kontaveit, who leads the pair’s head-to-head series 2-0. “We had some nice battles before, and I am looking forward to it.”

Also on playing on Center Court, 4th-seeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus eased past Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic, 6-3 6-2, in 1 hour 28 minutes, and will next play Maryna Zanevska, the No 7 seed from Belgium, who was a 6-4 6-1 winner over Romanian qualifier Alexandra Cadantu-Ignatik.

In other matches, American Bernarda Pera rolled to a routine 6-1 6-1 win over Switzerland’s Joanne Zuger, and Russia’s Anastasia Potapova beat Argentina’s Maria Lourdes Carle, 6-1 6-4.

For a place in the semi-finals, Pera will take on Katerina Siniakova in the quarter-final, while Potapova faces the Czech’s doubles partner and No 3 seed, Barbora Krijcikova, who was a 6-3 6-0 winner over Magdalena Fech from Poland. 

No 3 seed Irina-Camelia Begu moved into her 3rd quarter-final of the season after recovering from a set down to defeat Oceane Dodin at the Palermo Ladies Open

Palermo, Italy – WTA 25 Palermo Ladies Open

At the 33rd Palermo ladies Open in southern Italy on Wednesday, 3rd-seeded Zhang Shuai from China pulled out of the WTA 250 event ahead of her 2nd-round match with an unspecified ‘physical problem’, allowing Jasmine Paolini a free ride into the quarter-finals where the Italian will face either Nuria Parrizas Diaz, the 9th seed from Spain, or Austria’s lucky loser Julia Grabher.

On Tuesday, Italian top-seed Martina Trevisan was also forced to withdraw from the tournament because of a back injury.

4th-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain, however, did advance to the quarter-finals with an easy 6-0 6-2 victory over Leolia Jeanjean from France, converting 6 of 13 break-point chances in the process.

The Spaniard will play 7th-seeded Anna Bondar, who beat her fellow Hungarian compatriot, Panna Udvardy, 6-2 6-4.

Romania’s Irini-Camelia Begu, the 6th seed, saw off Frenchwoman, Oceane Dodin after an early scare, 1-6 6-2 6-4, and awaits the winner of the 2nd-round match between tournament favourite Yulia Putintseva, the No 2 seed from Kazakstan, and France’s Diane Parry, who play on Thursday.



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