Top seed Kuzmova Survives scare , ex champion Gasparyan loses at 21st Tashkent Open

25 September, 21:51

Former Champs Parmentier , Pliskova , Cirstea  in  last eight

Tashkent , September 25 :   Top seed Viktoria Kuzmova  of Slovakia survived a Match point to overcome a fighting Greet Minnen of Belgium 5-7,6-3, 7-6(7) in 2 hours 28 minutes  and  enter the quarterfinals of the 21st Tashkent Open WTA Championships being played at the Olympic School Tennis Complex here  .

Last years winner  and second seed Margarita Gasparyan lost her plot going down to Danka Kovinic of Montenegro ,Three former champions, Pauline Parmentier   Kristyna Pliskova   and Sorena Cirstea however moved into  last eight stage of the event.

Top seed Viktoria Kuzmova survived a Match point to overcome a fighting Greet Minnen of Belgium       5-7,6-3, 7-6(7) in 2 hours 28 minutes  to enter the quarterfinals of the 21st Tashkent Open WTA Championships

In a high quality match Minnen  came back from being 2-5 down to take 5 games in a row and take  the first set 7-5   , In the second Minnen looked strong breaking Kuzmova in the opening game and  then leading    3-1  before Kuzmova came back reeling off 5 games in row to wrap the second set 6-3 .

In the decider ,  both players  displayed high quality tennis  , the 21 year old Slovak Kuzmova saved a match point   at  30-40 (5-6 ) , but recovered well to  survive and  force the tiebreak . Kuzmova had two match points in the tiebreak at 6-5, and 7-6 ,  an intelligent drop shot saw her wrap  the match on the third match point  at 8-7  and ensure a  9-7 win in the tiebreak and passage into the quarterfinals

 It's an important win for me ,  I didn't do well in earlier weeks and been losing matches , so it was important for me to win today , I'm happy to win two matches in a row . Minnen played unbelievably well and didn't give me a free points , I had to fight for every point , she really rallied well from the baseline and didn't make errors ,  I'm happy to come through  , said Kuzmova after her win

In the biggest upset of the day world ranked 120 and unseeded  here Danka Kovinic of Montenegro   shocked second seeded and  reigning champion  Margarita Gasparyan of Russia  7-5,6-4 in  1hour 49 minutes match and   move into the quarterfinals and go up 3-1 in their head to head contest record.

I'm very happy with my win  , but I didn't play well  I could have played better , said Kovinic after the win .  Margarita is consistent player , but I tried to take control of the match , i put pressure on her backhand and that worked fo me today ," She added.  I have not played top 100 players for a long time now , and happy to come back.  My aim is to get into the top 100 and this win will help me for sure", Kovinic  added


Three other former champions here Pauline Parmentier of France   Krystina Pliskova of Czech Republic  and Sorena Cristina of Romania  made it to the last eight  and remain in fray for the title ,  winner of the title in 2007  

Pauline Parmentier  of France upset seventh seeded   Timea Babos of Hungary  2-6 , 6-4,6-3 in 2 hours 21 minutes match  to  record another upset. " I served well today and didn't get easy points , but happy to get the last eight ", said  Parmentier who has her best result in four appearances here after her title win in 2007.

 When told her win was 12 years ago , Parmentier now 33 said " How time flies , I would like to go all the way this year .   I have been playing for long now and its not easy to be in the top 100 , I'm getting old but my spirit remains ", she summed up with a smile

In another upset of the day up and coming Russian and dark horse here Anna Kalinskaya upset  sixth seeded Tatjana Maria  of Germany  3-6,7-5,6-2 in 2 hour 18 minutes tussle inspite of serving 10 Double  Faults in the match

In other close matches 2008 winner here Sorana Cirstea of Romania  stopped Belgian  Ysaline Bonaventure    3-6,6-3, 7-5 in  2 hours 14 minutes ,  while 2016 winner here fifth seed Kristyna Pliskova of Czech Republic changed her tactics to serve and volley in the third set to get past a fighting    Katarzyna Kawa (POL) 7-5,3-6,6-4 and make the last eight

In other matches  third seeded   Alison Van Uytvanck  of Belgium made short work of Birthday girl  Monica Niculescu  of Romania    6-3,6-1,  Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska stopped qualifier  Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic   6-4,6-4 to enter the quarterfinals


Following are the results : Second  Round  Singles

[1]  Viktoria Kuzmova (Svk)  bt Greet Minnen (BEL) 5-7.6-3,7-6(7)

[5] Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) bt   Katarzyna Kawa (POL) 7-5,3-6,6-4

[3]  Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) bt Monica Niculescu (ROU)  6-3,6-1

Pauline Parmentier (FRA ) bt  [7] Timea Babos (HUN) 2-6,6-4,6-3

Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) bt  [6] Tatjana Maria (GER) 3-6,7-5,6-2

Katarina Zavatska (UKR) bt [Q] Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-4,6-4

[8] Sorana Cirstea (ROU)  bt Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL)  3-6,6-3, 7-5

Danka Kovinic (MNE ) bt [2] Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 7-5,6-4