Hantuchova beats Dementieva at Swisscom Challenge

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Seventh-seeded Daniela Hantuchova saved two match points to defeat Russia's Elena Dementieva in a three-hour marathon on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of

Hantuchova beats Dementieva at Swisscom Challenge

Zurich:

Seventh-seeded Daniela Hantuchova saved two match points to defeat Russia's Elena Dementieva in a three-hour marathon on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the $1,224,000 Swisscom Challenge. Hantuchova rallied back from a first set loss to beat her Russian opponent 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) in two hours, 53 minutes. Looking unconvincing in the opening set and down 5-3 in the second, Hantuchova suddenly came to life, destabilizing her Russian rival. The Slovakian saved a first match point when Dementieva double-faulted at deuce. Hantuchova then saved her second -- which also put her back on serve -- with a lucky net-shot that teetered on the strip before dropping over onto the Russian's side of the court. Hantuchova, more consistent in the tie-break, was then able to even the sets. The contest remained tight in the final set as neither of the weary players were able to gain control or break the other's serve, with Dementieva failing to convert three break points at 3-3 and another at 5-5. Down 6-3 in the tiebreak, Dementieva rallied back to save all three match points, but lost a fourth at 7-6 when she charged forward and hit the ball into the net. The victory allowed tournament organizers to breath a sigh of relief, after losing several of their top names in the first two rounds. France's Amelie Mauresmo - featured in the evening's showcase match against local favourite Patty Schnyder - withdrew due to a knee injury that has cast doubt on her participation at the season-ending championships. The previous day, veteran Conchita Martinez proved there was still a lot of fight in her, dispatching top-seeded Jennifer Capriati. Martina Hingis, Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova all pulled out just prior to the start of the tournament. (AP)

Topics : Tennis
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