UPDATE 1-Tennis-Chakvetadze humbled by Schnyder in Linz quarters

Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:25pm BST

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By Barry Wood

LINZ, Austria Oct 26 (Reuters) - Top seed Anna Chakvetadze was humbled 6-1 6-0 by Swiss left-hander Patty Schnyder in the quarter-finals of the Linz Open on Friday.

Second seed Daniela Hantuchova was stretched by Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko before edging through 6-4 1-6 6-3.

Marion Bartoli was also tested, the third-seeded Frenchwoman breaking in the final game to defeat Ukraine's Julia Vakulenko 6-1 1-6 6-4.

Fifth seeded Czech Nicole Vaidisova claimed a minor upset over fourth seed Dinara Safina of Russia, winning 6-3 7-6.

Vaidisova served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 and saved a set point in the tiebreak before Safina double-faulted on the second match point.

Chakvetadze, who this week qualified for the season-ending WTA Championships which begin in Madrid on Nov. 6, looked flat and barely competed against an aggressive opponent who took full advantage of the freedom she was given.

"It was my worst match of the year," said Chakvetadze, who lost in just 39 minutes. "Everything happened really quickly and I was just slipping on court, I didn't run well."

Sixth-seeded Schnyder surrendered only three points on serve in each set, overpowering her hapless opponent, moving well and striking some excellent serves and returns.

"I hit the spots however I wanted and she had a tough day with me today," said Schnyder. "She could never find her game and had no idea how to beat me."

The Russian is withdrawing from an event next week in Quebec in order to prepare for Madrid but her confidence is low.

"Now I'm already thinking if it's a good thing that I qualify for (Madrid) because with this kind of game I don't know what I'm going to do there," Chakvetadze told reporters.

QUALIFYING CHANCE

Hantuchova, who has a slim chance of taking one of the two qualifying places still available for Madrid, dominated the opening set against Bondarenko after breaking for 1-0 when her opponent hit a double fault.

Bondarenko rallied strongly and levelled the match by claiming the second set as Hantuchova gave away points with alarming ease.

In the final set, the Slovak saved a break point with a lob at 3-3. When she was forced into a defensive lob in the next game and offered Bondarenko an inviting smash, her opponent blasted the ball long to give Hantuchova a break for 5-4.

"What got me through the third set was just my fighting spirit, trying to do my best on every point," said Hantuchova.

Bartoli had to recover from 1-3 in the final set to defeat the hard-hitting Vakulenko, who threatened to overpower the Wimbledon finalist.

The world number nine received treatment to her left hamstring at 3-2 and then immediately recovered the break of serve. With the match seemingly headed for a tiebreak, Bartoli broke again at 5-4 when Vakulenko netted a backhand.

"I had to really fight hard and I think I was at the end a little bit better mentally than her," said Bartoli.

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