Bertens, Pironkova reach second round in Morocco

The Canadian Press
4/23/2013 9:03:46 AM
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MARRAKECH, Morocco -- Defending champion Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria and Italian qualifier Karin Knapp won in straight sets to advance to the second round of the Grand Prix SAR on Tuesday.

The fifth-seeded Bertens rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the first set to beat Hungarian qualifier Timea Babos 7-5, 6-2.

A 2010 Wimbledon semifinalist, Pironkova broke twice in each set to dismiss Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-1.

Knapp won the first 11 games in her 6-0, 6-1 rout of Moroccan wild card Lina Qostal.

Frenchwomen Alize Cornet and Kristina Mladenovic and Spaniards Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Lourdes Dominguez Lino also won their first-round matches.

The third-seeded Cornet cruised past Moroccan wild card Fatima Zahrae El Allami 6-1, 6-1 and the seventh-seeded Mladenovic edged lucky loser Alexandra Cadantu of Romania 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in a match with 13 breaks of serve.

Cadantu replaced Dominika Cibulkova in the main draw after the top-seeded Slovakian withdrew because of an injury.

Dominguez Lino jumped to 4-0 in the final set to oust Misaki Doi of Japan 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 while Soler-Espinosa saved eight break points to defeat Slovakian qualifier Michaela Honcova 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Tsvetana Pironkova (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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