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By Akshay Kohli
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Recovering from the tragic loss at the hands of Serbia in the Fed-Cup, Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Eleni Daniilidou, 61 75, in her Fès opener. However, she had to rally from a 5-2, two-break deficit in a second set that included a set point for Daniilidou. “It was tough because Fed Cup was indoors and I was really tired," Kuznetsova said.
"I had a little bit of trouble with my movement and concentration in the second set, but I'm happy to get through in two sets.” She added by saying, “This is my first clay court outdoor tournament of the year, so I'm looking forward to getting some matches in.”
Also advancing in straight sets was No.3 seed Czech Petra Cetkovska, 6-4 6-2, over Melinda Czink. “It was really a tough match,” said Cetkovska. “She's a great player who is coming back from an injury. She won two matches in qualifying. I'm really happy because first round matches are always difficult, especially with the tough conditions here.”
No.8 seed Shahar Peer needed five match points before prevailing in almost a three hours marathon over Magdalena Rybarikova, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. “As much as I was frustrated, I kept fighting and I was aggressive in the right moments, in the last few games especially. I think that was important,” Peer said. “It was a long match. I think I should have finished it off earlier, but I'm really happy that I won. Hopefully, I'll sleep well tonight.”
No.5 seed Simona Halep moved on when Fatima Zahrae El Allami retired with a stomach illness after losing the first set, 6-1. She is a two time defending runners- up here. She is now 11-2 at this event, including qualifying matches.
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