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VINCI CARVES PATH TO NURNBERG QFS

2015-5-20


NURNBERG, Germany - No.4 seed Roberta Vinci made short work of WTA Rising Star Tereza Smitkova on Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals of the NURNBERGER VERSICHERUNGSCUP.

It has been a lean start to the year for Vinci, who had won back-to-back matches on just two occasions heading into her final French Open tune-up event. However, against Smitkova, she looked in fine fettle, requiring just 49 minutes to wrap up a 6-2, 6-1 win on Center Court.

"I've been playing very well these first two rounds! Of course it was tough but I played a good game," Vinci said. "It's always tough to play against any opponent. I'm happy, I'm playing better each match."

Next up for the experienced Italian will be another WTA Rising Star Kurumi Nara, after she saw off Stefanie Voegele, 6-3, 6-4.

Despite coming out a comfortable winner in their only previous meeting, last summer in Istanbul, Vinci still scheduled a scouting mission ahead of the rematch. "I'll watch a bit of Nara and Voegele later. I played Nara last year. I've never played Voegele so I will watch some games," she said.

Elsewhere, there were wins for top seed Angelique Kerber, Karin Knapp and qualifier Misaki Doi. No.6 seed Knapp reached the semifinals at Nürnberg 12 months ago and stayed on course to repeat the feat with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over wildcard Anna-Lena Friedsam.

Kerber and Doi were made to work harder for their spots in the last eight. Doi recovering from a slow start to defeat Zhang Shuai, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, while Kerber fought back from 5-2 down in the second set to defeat Klara Koukalova, 6-1, 7-6(2).

"The first set was quite good and I was playing really well," Kerber said. "However the second set there was this one crazy game which turned the match.

"She's a really tough opponent and she showed how good she is in that second set. It was a close game but I'm happy to win it in two sets, especially coming back when she was in front."



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