Former champions find winning formula in Estoril
Date published :
01 May 2012 - 16:47:15
Former champions Maria Kirilenko and Anabel Medina Garrigues opened with contrasting May Day victories at the ATP-WTA Estoril Open on Tuesday.
Second-seeded Russian Kirilenko, who lifted the title at the Estadio Nacional in 2008, overcame Briton Elena Baltacha 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 in a struggle which began with a first set lasting exactly one hour in front of holiday crowds.
Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues, the third-seeded holder, got past German Kristina Barrois with more ease as she posted a 6-4, 6-1 win.
Medina Garrigues, a 29-year-old who has won 10 of her 11 career trophies on clay, broke Barrois five times in their match lasting just under 90 minutes.
Kirilenko, losing finalist in February at Pattaya, Thailand, battled the 63rd-ranked Baltacha as the Briton tried in vain to win only her third WTA match of the season.
The Russian seed finally claimed an opening set featuring six breaks of serve in a tiebreaker, earning the lead on her first set point after saving two for Baltacha.
In the second Kirilenko stamped her authority on the contest after another 45 minutes.
Three more seeds took opening wins, with number four Petra Cetkovska defeating Alexandra Panova of Russia 6-2, 6-1 and number six Kaia Kanepi of Estonia crushing US qualifier Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-0.
Eighth seed Polona Hercog beat Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-0, 6-3.
Australian Jarmila Gajdosova defeated MarÃa-Teresa TorrÃ³-Flor of Spain 6-3, 6-1, while Briton Heather Watson, a qualifier who last played more than a month ago in Miami, beat Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4 to next face Cetkovska.
Men's ATP play was highlighted by locals as Portuguese players went into action.
The 2010 quarter-finalist Rui Machado rallied past wild card compatriot Pedro Sousa 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 6-2 in two hours, breaking six times.
Three Spaniards won, with Ivan Navarro, Inigo Cervantes and Daniel MuÃ±oz-de la Nava all reaching the second round.
Top seed Juan Martin del Potro, Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Swiss debutant Stanislas Wawrinka all have byes in the first round.