Tennis-Fit-again Bartoli reaches Linz quarters

LINZ Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:17pm BST

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LINZ Oct 25 (Reuters) - Marion Bartoli overwhelmed Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-2 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Linz Open on Thursday and showed no ill effects from the knee injury that forced her retire in Zurich last week.

She gave up just one point on serve in the first set, and after breaking to lead 3-2 her 16-year-old opponent's brief challenge disintegrated.

"My knee was not 100 percent but still okay and I was able to play," French third seed Bartoli told reporters.

"I feel sometimes a little pain especially when I have to take a hard step on my left foot, so I tried not to hit too hard and just put the ball to the right spot."

Second seed Daniela Hantuchova was in buoyant mood after disposing of Argentina's Gisela Dulko 6-3 6-1.

One break decided the first set after Dulko double-faulted on game point and went on to lose her serve at 1-1.

After Dulko held for 1-0 in the second set the Slovak took total control, surrendering just five more points.

"I felt really, really good," said Hantuchova. "The first set I was rushing too much and went for some shots I shouldn't have really gone for, but in the second set I calmed down and was patient. I made it easier for myself by making sure I was there for every point."

Fifth-seeded Czech Nicole Vaidisova defeated Austria's Yvonne Meusburger 6-3 6-1, and sixth seed Patty Schnyder overcame Australian qualifier Alicia Molik 6-4 6-4.

A break for 2-1 secured the first set for the Swiss left-hander, but she struggled to gain an advantage in the second set against an opponent who served well and struck the ball firmly but lacked consistency.

"She really started playing good," said Schnyder of the second set. "Her percentage of first serves went up and that put a lot of pressure on me to hold my serve. She played great on the break points and hit some unbelievable shots, but I refused to get frustrated."

Ukrainians Julia Vakulenko and Alona Bondarenko progressed with comfortable victories. Vakulenko swept past Japan's Ai Sugiyama 6-0 6-2, and Bondarenko defeated Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-4 6-3.

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