Top seed Cibulkova out of Quebec, Barthel squeezes through

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Kirsten Flipkens advanced into second round of 2012 Quebec WTA tournament after seeing off top seed Cibulkova. Mona Barthel also booked her place in the next round after escaping defeat against Watson.

Top seed Slovak Dominika Cibulkova was supposed to be one of the main contenders for 2012 Quebec WTA title, yet she stumbled at the very first hurdle. Recent Carlsbad champion Cibulkova was a clear favorite against her first round opponent Kirsten Flipkens, although the 102nd-ranked Belgian did win their last head-to-head encounter back in 2010. It was all going according to Cibulkova’s plan in the opener as she needed two breaks and thirty-one minutes to take  a one set to love lead. The second set was a completely new chapter. The Slovak went 0-4 down, then nullified her rival’s two break advantage, just to give away yet another serve in the eighth game. Flipkens served out the set two with a game to love. The drama continued in the decider, too. Cibulkova managed to break back twice, but Flipkens broke her once again at 5-5. She then converted her first match point to take a surprise 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory after 2 hours and fifteen minutes of tennis.

Flipkens will be playing Mirjana Lucic in the next round. The Croat overcame Heidi El Tabakh in her first match with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5) scoreline.

Third-seeded German Barthel did not have it easy against Heather Watson of Great Britain. In the action-packed first set, both of the players achieved two breaks, so a tie-break followed. The spectators witnessed a mini-break after a mini-break until Watson finally managed to convert set point on her opponent’s serve. In the second set, Barthel came very close to an early exit from the tournament. She found herself 4-5 down in the tie-break, but fought back to level the match. From then on it was a stroll in the park for the German. She grabbed three breaks in the deciding set which was enough for a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-1 first round triumph.

Barthel is meeting Slovene player Petra Rampre in the round of sixteen. Rampre eliminated Portuguese Larcher de Brito with 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in her first match.

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