WTA RABAT - Kirsten Flipkens and Sara Errani off to a winning start


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WTA RABAT - Kirsten Flipkens and Sara Errani off to a winning start

Kirsten Flipkens completed the upset of the day in Rabat. The Belgian made it past the first round here for the first time since 2011 when she reached the semifinals losing to Simona Halep. Flipkens beat the No.3 seed Petra Martic, the highest-ranked player she has defeated so far this season, 36 62 64.

The Croat has never made it past the first round in any of her previous appearances. Flipkens, more consistent in attacking her opponent's weaker backhand, sealed the sixth comeback win in the seven matches she has started losing the opening set.

The Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo claimed her 15th top 100 win as she defeated the former quarterfinalist Yulia Putintseva 76(4) 60. The Kazakh, who reached the last 8 in 2016, when she lost to Kiki Bertens, managed to collect less than a first serve point every three while her opponent completed nine breaks from nine looks.

Sara Errani opened her campaign with a comfortable 64 64 win over Zarina Diyas, collecting her 280th overall victory on clay. After four breaks in the first five games, Errani served at 5-4 up and sealed the first set with a precise backhand crosscourt pass.

The Italian No.2 extended to 18-1 her win-loss record this season after winning the opening set using drop shots and angled groundstrokes to force Diyas out of her comfort zone. On match point, a series of floating balls towards her opponent's backhand made Errani dictate the pace and force Diyas error on a down-the-line backhand.

Errani will meet Johanna Larsson aiming to improve her 6-1 record in previous clashes. The Swede defeated her lower-ranked compatriot Rebecca Peterson, making her debut here, 26 63 61. Larsson will bid for her third quarter-final of the season, the second in her career in Rabat where she lost in the last 8 two years ago to eventual champion Timea Bacsinszky.

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