|Posted on August 8, 2011 at 4:40 PM|
Rocky Kahn (Bettor) | 8 August 2011
Lucie Safarova rallies past Polona Hercog into the second round
Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic needed a third set to triumph over Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog at the Rogers Cup 2011, a WTA Premier event held at the Rexall Centre in Toronto, Canada. She registered a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory over the 20-year-old Slovene to advance into the second round on Monday.
24-year-old Safarova took almost two hours to overpower the qualifier, ranked 40th in the Sony Ericsson WTA Premier rankings, to not only advance into the second round but also levelled the head-to-head series by 1-1 against Hercog.
The Czech made a nervy start at the hard courts of Toronto but fended off the only breakpoint faced to keep her entire serves. She levelled the scores at 3-3 against Hercog but then went into rage mode to wipe out last three games consecutively. Safarova converted two out of three breakpoint opportunities to her advantage to bag the opener with a 6-3 win. Furthermore, she committed several unforced errors and a poor first serve share but registered a spectacular 79 percent win on it.
The Slovenian youngster turned the tables around in the second set and broke the Czech’s serve twice to take a 4-1 lead. However, she failed to save the only breakpoint faced in the proceeding game but kept remaining serves to seal the equaliser with a 6-4 win. Hercog jolted a lower first serve share of 57 percent as compared to Safarova’s 63 percent but earned an impressive 65 percent win on it.
Safarova founded her rhythm again in the final set and easily plucked in entire serves without facing breakpoint. She broke the Slovene’s opening serve to eventually clinch the decider with a 6-3 score line. The Czech clobbered a terrible first serve share of 56 percent as opposed to Hercog’s 85 percent but registered a super 87 percent win on it. She capitalised on one out of five breakpoint chances to her advantage to help her win comfortably.
Up next for the Czech is another qualifier, Romania’s Simona Halep. Halep upset twelfth seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova with a comeback victory later that day.