Barthel reaches QFs in Quebec, plays Zahlavova-Strycova next

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Kirsten Flipkens, Anna Tatishvili, Mona Barthel, and 2011 title holder Barbora Zahlavova Strycova make it to the quarterfinal of Challenge Bell WTA tournament in Quebec.

Unseeded Belgian Flipkens continues to perform well in Quebec. She eliminated top seed Cibulkova in the first round and was matched up against Croat Mirjana Lucic in the last 16. Former Wimbledon semifinalist Lucic, who had not won a WTA tournament since 1998, was successful in the first-set tie-break after she managed to convert her first set point. Just like in her previous match, Flipkens raised the level of her game in the remaining two sets. She achieved three breaks as opposed to her opponent’s one and served for the second set at 5-2. Three set points later the score was levelled at one set apiece between the two players. Lucic lost her serve at the start of the deciding set, equalized the score in the eight game, but gave away another serve straight away. She had a break point for 5-5, but it was 102nd-ranked Flipkens who took her second match point and advanced into the quarterfinals with a 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-4 win.

Lucic’s younger compatriot Martic also suffered a defeat. Seventh seed Croat fell short against 52nd-ranked Georgian Tatishivili: 6-2, 6-3. Tatishvili will meet Flipkens in the quarterfinal.

Third-seeded German Barthel was largely untroubled against the 32-year-old Slovene player Petra Rampre. World No. 234 Rampre grabbed an early break that she consolidated to go 2-0 up. She then had the opportunity for a 3-0 lead, but a ten years younger Barthel turned around both the game and the set in a flash of a moment. Rampre could not get on the scoreboard until 0-5 in the following set. She avoided the second-set bagel with a game to love, but was just putting off the inevitable as the German converted her first match point a minute or so later. End score: 6-2, 6-1.

Barthel will have a harder task against defending champion Zahlavova Strycova in the quarterfinal. The Czech got the better of another German Tatjana Malek: 6-3, 6-3.

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