• WTA

Robson holds nerve to defeat Vinci

ESPN staff
July 12, 2012 « St Pat's progress in Europa League | Chartbeat test »
Laura Robson swings at a forehand © PA Photos
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Laura Robson picked up one of the biggest wins of her fledgling career to dump out second seed Roberta Vinci at the Italia Open on Thursday.

Robson, looking to improve her ranking after her opening round exit at Wimbledon, held her nerve against the resolute Italian to claim a straight sets victory that took over 90 minutes to complete - with a late break eventually securing a 6-3 7-5 triumph for the Brit.

Neither player was faultless on their own serve, but Vinci failed to punish Robson as the youngster took her break point opportunities when they came. In the second set it was not until the scores reached 5-5 that Robson made the decisive break of the set, before holding on to serve out the contest despite a couple of trips back to deuce.

Robson will now face fifth seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarter-finals, after the Spaniard beat Georgia's Anna Tatishvili.

Suarez Navarro was in control midway through the second set when Tatishvili was forced to retire, with the scoreline reading 6-1 3-2 at the time.

Elsewhere, eighth seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova reached the last eight after defeating Julia Cohen in three hard-fought sets.

At the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, second seed Marion Bartoli forced her way into the quarter-finals after overcoming a spirited Mallory Burdette on Thursday. Burdette spurned set-point opportunities in the opening set before Bartoli won the final 11 games to claim a 7-5 6-0 victory.

Third seed Dominika Cibulkova cruised to a straight-sets victory over Japan's Erika Sema to progress to the final eight. Cibulkova landed a mere 44% of first serves, but powered her way into the quarter-finals on the back of a dominant baseline game.

Urszula Radwanska of Poland also progressed following her three-set triumph over eighth-seeded Marina Erakovic. But there was no such upset for China's Zheng Saisai, who bowed out 6-3 6-3 to ninth seed Sorana Cirstea.

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