Seles Eases Into Last Eight in Dubai

DUBAI (Reuters) – Monica Seles reached the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open Tuesday, shrugging aside a troublesome ankle to beat Italy’s Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-2.
Having broken to lead 2-0 with the aid of several acutely angled groundstrokes, Seles then lost the next 10 points.

But she settled again, broke to lead 5-4 when Schiavone double-faulted and served out for the first set.

In the second set, although fourth-seeded Seles failed to convert a break point at 1-1, she forced a baseline error to break for 3-2 and struck a fierce crosscourt backhand winner to break again for 5-2.

“I’m not playing my best tennis of my career, so I’m just happy to win today,” she said.

“I’ve been making a lot of unforced errors and just trying to do my best. I still feel a little bit of pain on the ankle I injured in Australia.”

Earlier in the day, strong winds made it difficult for Anastasia Myskina as she celebrated her first match as a member of the world’s top 10 by beating fellow Russian Dinara Safina 6-4 6-3.

Both struggled to find consistency, but it was the 16-year-old sister of Marat Safin who held the early advantage.

She broke serve in the first game, but Myskina levelled at 3-3. Although Safina broke again with a forehand volley, Myskina responded by snatching the next three games and the set.