Hantuchova edges past Likhovtseva
LONDON (Reuters) - Daniela Hantuchova came through a tricky test against Russian Elena Likhovtseva on Thursday, winning 7-5 7-6 to take her place in the third round.
The 24-year-old Slovak, playing in her seventh consecutive Wimbledon, has enjoyed one of her best years on the Tour, capturing her second title at Indian Wells.
Five years ago as a teenager Hantuchova announced herself on the big stage when she reached quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open but she has rarely hit those heights again.
Off-court problems have dogged her career but there are signs that she can re-establish herself in the top 10.
She needed to be near her best on Thursday and she grabbed a decisive break of serve at 5-5 in the first set before clinically closing out the set.
The 31-year-old Likhovtseva, whose career highlights have come on the doubles court where she has won 27 titles, refused to capitulate in a second set dominated by serving.
Hantuchova had an anxious moment at 5-6 when she fell 0-30 behind, then at deuce she was let off when her opponent sent a routine drive volley into the net.
The slender Slovak then accelerated away in the tiebreak to move through to a third round meeting with Slovenian 19th seed Katarina Srebotnik.
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