|Posted on August 11, 2011 at 7:55 PM|
Lucie Safarova defeats Francesca Schiavone in the 3rd round
By Rocky Kahn (Bettor) | 11 August 2011
Lucie Safarova upsets Francesca Schiavone to advance into the quarterfinal
Czech Lucie Safarova amazed everyone by earning a surprise straight set victory over the 2011 Roland Garros runner-up, Francesca Schiavone at the Rogers Cup 2011, a WTA Premier event held from 6th – 14th August at the Rexall Centre in Toronto, Canada. After registering a 6-3, 6-3 victory over the 31-year-old Italian, Safarova breezed into the last eight on Thursday in order to shelf her maiden title this season.
After reaching the title rounds at Kuala Lumpur and Copenhagen, Safarova re-ignited her spark on the hard courts of York University to overpower the eighth seeded Italian for the third time in their sixth meeting. The Czech not only secured a final eight spot in this Premier 5 event but also levelled the head-to-head series by 3-3.
Ranked 32nd in the Sony Ericsson WTA Premier rankings, Safarova went berserk in the opening set as she unleashed massive groundstrokes to reel off first three games in a row before world number eight, Schiavone broke back. She maintained her lead by keeping her remaining serves and broke the Italian’s serve again in the last game to seal the opener with a 6-3 score line.
The Czech required a single breakpoint opportunity in the final set to bag it. She founded that chance in the second game and duly converted it to her advantage. Later, Safarova smoothly held her remaining serves without facing a breakpoint and clinched the set with a 6-3 win.
Schiavone, on the other hand, clobbered a poor first serve share of 45 percent as compared to Czech’s 56 percent. She converted one out of four breakpoint opportunities to her advantage and saved only half of the eight breakpoints faced. Adding to her misery, she spilled several errors and eight double faults which cost her the match.
24-year-old Czech will next face a former world number one, America’s Serena Williams who halted Chinese qualifier Zheng Jie in brutal three sets.
Ranked 80th in the WTA rankings, Williams bounced from a set down to register a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the qualifier, ranked two places below her, in another night match in two hours and fifteen minutes.