Flipkens Survives , Nara ousted at Tashkent Open

28 September 2016

Second seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium survived  a three hour battle against Maria Sakkari of Greece , while fifth seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan and eighth seeded Naomi Broady were ousted by unseeded Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic  and Irna Khromacheva of Russia in the second round of the 18th edition of the Tashkent Open WTA Championships being played at the Olympic  tennis School in Tashkent.

Fourth seeded  Nao Hibino of Japan , Sixth seed Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine, and ninth seeded Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic  and unseeded players  Stefanie Voegle of Switzerland and Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine  made it to the last eight stage of  event  with contrasting wins.

In  the best match of  the event so far Flipkens faltered a 5-3 lead in the decider and let Maria Sakkari comeback into the match and force a third set tiebreak  , Flipkens won 7-6(0),3-6,7-6(4) in a match lasting three hours.

Unseeded Kristyna Pliskova served 9 aces in her match to upset fifth seeded  Kurumi Nara of Japan  6-2,6-2 in 1 hour and 10 minutes  , while Russian Irina Khromacheva  registered a convincing 6-2,6-4  win over  eighth seeded Naomi Broady  of Britain in 1 hour  20 minutes.  

In an all  Japanese Contest Fourth seeded  Nao Hibino  out rallied Risa Ozaki       7-5,6-1 in  1 hour 39 minutes , Sixth seed Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine spent some anxious moments on the court before disposing off  qualifier Ipek Soylu   of Turkey 6-1,3-6,6-1 in 1 hour 56 minutes , Ninth seeded Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic was made to fight hard in the first set before coming back strongly to out hit Patricia Maria Tig of Romania 7-5,6-2 in a 1 hour  29 minute battle

Unseeded Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland  who made a first round exit last year found herself in the last eight stage this year as her opponent  and former world no 4 Francesca Schiavone conceded the match at scores reading 6-2,3-2  for Voegele.  

Kateryna Kozlova  of Czech Republic made it to the quarterfinal for the second time in as many years  ending the run of lucky loser Sofia Shapatava  6-2,7-5 in the second round in 1 hour and 19 minutes.

In the best match of the day second seeded Kirsten Flipkens  won one game less than her opponent Maria Sakkari of Greece but ended winning the match 7-6(0),3-6,7-6(4) in a 3 hour battle-royale.

Both players showcased class, excellent tennis , grit , determination in the match played on the center court, in the first set Flipkens made use of her slice backhand to  keep the pressure on Sakkari and claim the first set tie breaker at Love .

In the second set  Sakkari who is ranked 99 and nearly 43 places below  Flipkens stroked the ball superbly hitting an series of winners and negotiating Flipken drops effectively to claim the second set 6-3.

In the deciding set Flipkens broke Sakkari in the seventh game and raced to a 5-3 lead and looked like going for a win , but Sakkari showed her mettle coming back strongly to break Flipkens in the 10th game and level scores 5-5, she then held on to her serve in the 11th to go up 6-5 putting pressure on Flipkens.

Flipkens served solidly under pressure in the 12 game to hold on a force a tiebreak, which she took command early enough and finish it convincingly to cheers from the crowds.

 It is Great to come out  , It was tough to stay for nearly three hours and quite hot too,  I had Good starts in the tiebreak which made the difference , said Flipkens after the match . " Sakkari played very well . It was good match for both of us , I'm    very happy with the way I played , she added

When reminded  about the final score , where she won one game less than Sakkari  in spite of winning the match , she said That's tennis for you

Speaking to the Media after her match Kristyna Pliskova who registered the only upset of the day ousting fifth seeded Kurumi Nara  said " I excepted a tough match,    I  Served very  well (Hit 9 Aces ) , My ground stokes found the right  angles. I  was playing  confidently  today .  I'm happy to Break my singles jinx  and move into the quarterfinals .

Following is the Singles quarterfinal line up

Kateryna Kozlova  v/s  Stefanie Voegele , Kristyna Pliskova v/s  Irina Khromacheva , Lesia Tsurenko v/s Nao Hibino , Denisa Allertova  v/s Kirsten Flipkens

Following are the Results ( Second Round Singles )

Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) vs  [LL] Sofia Shapatava (GEO) 6/2 7/5

Stefanie Voegele (SUI) vs Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-2,3-2 (conceded)

Kristyna Pliskova (CZE)vs[5] Kurumi Nara (JPN)   6/2 6/2

Irina Khromacheva (RUS) vs [8] Naomi Broady (GBR) 6/2 6/4

[6] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) vs [Q] Ipek Soylu (TUR) 6/1 3/6 6/1

 [2] Kristen Flipkens (BEL) vs Maria Sakkari (GRE) 7/6(0) 3/6 7/6(4)

Doubles Results

Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) / Hiroko Kuwata (JPN) vs Katarzyna Piter (POL) / Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP)  7/5 7/5

Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) / Aamra Sadikovic (SUI) vs [2] Nicole Melichar (USA) / Varatchaya Wongteanchai (THA) 7/6(9) 6/3