Ana squeezes past Craybas

Ana squeezes past Craybas

Ana edged past American Jill Craybas 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the second round of the PTT Pattaya Open in Thailand.

Ana started indifferently. She was hitting the ball cleaning from the baseline, but served four double faults and was broken following a marathon game. Craybas, on the other hand, was a model of consistency. She held to lead 2-0 and had a break point for 3-0 that Ana saved.

With the American leading 2-1 a most unusual interruption occurred when the floodlights failed. There was a power cut that hit the entire resort at which the tournament is being held, and an intermission of some 25 minutes ensued.

Eventually power was restored and the players returned for a 5-minute warm-up. Ana looked markedly more assured and she broke back to level at 3-3. She had a break point to lead 5-3 but spurned it, and the momentum again shifted, this time in favour of Craybas.

The 36-year-old veteran exploited Ana's misfiring groundstrokes and clinched the first set 6-4.

As Ana slipped to 15-40 in the opening game of the second set, things were looking bleak for the No.2 seed and the vast majority of the near-capacity crowd, who offered Ana their vociferous support.

However, the 23-year-old saved both break points, the second with a forehand sledgehammer. She began to play very aggressively and Craybas had no answer to her piercing groundstrokes. Ana raced into a 5-0 lead.

The second set outcome was inevitable. Craybas regrouped at the beginning of the final set and the match became very competitive once more.

Ana moved a break ahead at 3-2, at which point she required courtside treatment for a shoulder complaint. When she returned to the court she was broken, but she continued to fight and her forehand caused more problems for Craybas.

The match was very much up for grabs at 5-5 when a close line call went in favour of Ana. Craybas was incensed, but she kept her cool and competed gamely. But she could not resist Ana's attacking play and the former world No.1 sealed what proved to be a match-winning break in the 11th game.

Ana served the match out with the minimum of fuss, in stark contrast to the two hours and 25 minutes that had gone before.

"Saving those break points at the start of the second set was crucial," said Ana.

"It was a really strange match, full of ups and downs, and the lights going out!"

Furthermore, several 'lets' had to be played, as balls from the neighbouring court occassionally interrupting rallies.

Ana added: "The conditions this evening were very different to yesterday afternoon, so I am happy that I was able to adapt and to come through this test. Jill played a very good match and she didn't really deserve to lose. I'm just happy to be through."

Ana will take on fifth seed Roberta Vinci of Italy in the quarter-finals on Friday.