Cepede Royg eliminates Petkovic

10 January 2017
By Leigh Rogers

Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg has shocked former world No.9 Andrea Petkovic to cement a place in the Hobart International quarterfinals. The 24-year-old scored a 6-3 0-6 6-4 second round victory in just over two hours on Centre Court today.

“Petkovic is a great player and it was a tough match, I think I did my game and I won,” Cepede Royg said.

Cepede Royg started strongly, breaking Petkovic’s serve in the opening game and comfortably winning the first set in 39 minutes. The world No.129 lost only eight points on serve.

Petkovic got her first break point opportunity in the first game of the second set – and took it. The German then raced through the set in 26 minutes, sealing it with an ace. The world No.55 was in control, breaking again in the opening game of the final set.

“I think too much,” Cepede Royg explained of her second set letdown. “I was so nervous and I missed a lot.

“So I think ‘okay you have the third set, just fight’.”

Which is exactly what Cepede Royg did, snapping Petkovic’s streak of seven straight games to break back in the second game of the final set. From there it was a tussle, with long games following as both players wrestled for ascendancy.

Serving at 4-5, Petkovic saved four match points but couldn’t save a fifth, netting a forehand to hand Cepede Royg one of the biggest wins of her career.

Cepede Royg, the world No.129, is making the most of her second chance in the tournament, having received a lucky loser spot after losing in the final qualifying round on Sunday. She’s now into the third WTA quarterfinal of her career. The result means Cepede Royg will not be able to participate in Australian Open qualifying as she had planned.

“I don’t care. I’m here and now I’m focused on this tournament and I’m trying to do my best,” she said of the schedule clash.

Cepede Royg next meets the winner of the second round showdown between Australian wildcard Lizette Cabrera and Croatian qualifier Jana Fett, who play in tonight’s evening session.

Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens is also into the quarterfinals. American Sachia Vickery retired injured after one game in their second round match, propelling the No.127-ranked Mertens into the second WTA quarterfinal of her career. The 21-year-old next faces either top seed Kiki Bertens or Galina Voskoboeva, who play their second round match tomorrow.

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