Third-seeded Govortsova comes back from the brink


Tashkent : Third seed Olga Govortsova of Belarus needed three sets and some courtside medication to overcome a feisty challenge from Luxembourg’s Anne Kremer at the Tashkent Open Thursday.

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Govortsova, 19, won 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in just under two hours, and entered the quarterfinals.

She called for the trainer at the end of the first set, complaining of headache and a sore throat. But, after going down 3-1 in the second set, she won nine games in a row and turned the match around.

Top-seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus took her appointed slot in the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina.

After the match, she too said she had played without being fully fit, complaining of weakness and a sore throat. The sudden cold conditions here have apparently caught the players unawares.

Azarenka told newsmen after her 78-minute match against Rodina that she went to see the doctor before the match and was given some pills. She felt she played better than in her first-round win over Hsieh Su-Wei but that she was not at her best yet. She plays qualifier Ksenia Palkina in the quarterfinals.

Govortsova now plays Katie O’Brien of Britain in the quarterfinals. The British girl defeated Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus 6-3, 7-6 (1), having double-faulted at match point when serving 6-5 in the second set.

“I’m feeling absolutely great,” said O’Brien, who was the last direct acceptance in the main draw.

“It’s a huge bonus,” she added. “It was a last-minute decision to come here and I’m glad I decided to come.”

Pauline Parmentier of France, who upset No 2 seed Dominika Cibulkova in the first round, turned another impressive performance while beating Vesna Manasieva 6-2, 6-1.

The French girl had recorded the fourth-highest service speed at this year’s US Open (191 kmph) and she showed proof of that today with another powerful serving display.

Parmentier plays Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova tomorrow for a place in the semi-finals. Amanmuradova’s coach, Steeve Elhaik feels that it will be “interesting” match.

“Two players with good serves,” he said. “It’ll be very interesting to see how the players react to another player playing a game similar to theirs.”