Minella, Lino score upsets at Grand Prix SAR

Mandy Minella of Luxembourg. (AP/Charles Krupa)

MARRAKECH, Morocco — Defending champion Kiki Bertens beat Flavia Pennetta of Italy 7-6 (0), 4-6, 6-4 in an error-strewn match to reach the Grand Prix SAR quarterfinals on Thursday.

Bertens, who is seeded fifth, recovered from 4-1 down in the first set to win a match which saw 14 breaks of serve.

The Dutch player was broken while serving for the match but broke straight back to secure a place in the last eight against Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain.

Dominguez Lino rallied to beat ninth-seeded Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 in another match to feature seven breaks of serve for each player.

Mandy Minella of Luxembourg also fought back from a set down to beat fourth-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Kanepi had seven aces but double-faulted nine times, and Minella broke her three times.

Seventh-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France advanced to the last eight by beating Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-3 and Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa joined her after thrashing Russia’s Olga Puchkova 6-0, 6-3.

Sixth-seeded Francesca Schiavone of Italy also cruised into the quarterfinals, beating two-time runner up Simona Halep of Romania 6-3, 6-2.

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