A pair of minor Spaniards reached the second round of the Portugal Open on a cold, blustery Tuesday, with Albert Ramos setting up a showdown with Swiss second seed Stanislas Wawrinka.
Ramos, ranked 57th, who lost a Barcelona quarter-final last week to Rafael Nadal after beating Japanese seed Kei Nishikori, defeated Argentine Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-3.
The Spaniard will take on Wawrinka for the fourth time and second this season while standing 0-3 in the series. Two of their three have been played on clay, including February in Buenos Aires.
Qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta continued his run at the Estadio Nacional as he upset French fifth seed Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-4 with five aces and four breaks of serve. Colombian Alejandro Falla started his week with a defeat of Russian Alex Kuznetsov 7-5, 6-4.
Spanish number one David Ferrer takes the top seeding at the pre-French Open tuneup after replacing ailing Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the lineup.
Ferrer is short of match play after losing last week in his opening match in Barcelona after skipping Monte Carlo to rest a thigh injury.
In the women’s WTA draw, top seed Marion Bartoli was eliminated at her first clay hurdle of the season by 2010 semi-finalist Peng Shuai 6-0, 1-6, 6-4.
The number 34 Chinese had little more than a week of light training on the clay in Germany after returning to her home in Tianjan for treatment of a shoulder injury after the Miami event in March.
But the unseeded underdog had enough game to ambush Bartoli, who has lost her last four WTA matches.
“It was a very difficult draw, but I think it is better for me to have those kind of matches early in the clay court season and try to improve for the big events coming up,” said Bartoli, a 2007 Wimbledon finalist.
“The first match on clay is always tough for me. I had a lot of trouble finding my game and my feet on the court.” Peng was happy to go through on another day of demanding conditions including wind and unseasonable cold.
“I“m very happy to win in such windy conditions,” said the 27-year-old. “The clay was blowing around a lot, making it even more difficult.” Peng won in an hour and three-quarters thanks in part to eight Bartoli double-faults. She will next play Swiss Romina Oprandi, who defeated Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-3, 6-3.
Third seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Israeli qualifier Shahar Peer 6-4, 6-4.
Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan put out Swede Sofia Arvidsson 6-3, 6-4 while Austrian Tamira Paszek lost her seventh straight match of the season, 6-1, 6-3, against Romanian Monica Niculescu.