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Erakovic downs second seed in Birmingham

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 08:25 13/06/2013
Marina Erakovic
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GREAT WIN: Kiwi tennis No 1 Marina Erakovic has continued her strong form at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

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Marina Erakovic has upset second-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova to progress to the third round of the Aegon Classic grasscourt tennis tournament at Birmingham's Edgbaston Priory Club.

The world No 71 beat the world No 22 Makarova 7-6 (6), 3-6 6-0 in a little under two hours to continue her strong buildup for Wimbledon later this month.

Erakovic's serve was again hit and miss and she landed just 57 per cent of her first serves.

The Aucklander hit 13 double faults, but sent down eights aces as well.

She also saved five of the seven break points she faced while converting six of nine and was pleased to get past the "tricky" Russian.

“She definitely is tricky and she plays well on all surfaces so this was really a very good win for me," Erakovic said.

"I managed to stay aggressive and I kept going after my shots, and it paid off.”

Erakovic will meet world No 45 and 2010 French Open-winner Francesca Schiavone tonight in the third round.

Erakovic said Schiavone's all-round ability made her tough to break down.

“Francesca is a great champion and a great competitor and she is all-around solid so I'm really going to have to be at it against her,” she said.

If the Kiwi No 1 beats Schiavone, she will meet the winner of the third round match between Slovak 12th seed Daniela Hantuchova and French world No 39 Kristina Mladenovic.

Erakovic is one of eight unseeded players to reach the last 16 at Birmingham, the same tournament where she reached the semifinals in 2008.

She and Zimbabwean partner Cara Black have also reached the quarterfinals of the doubles where they will meet second seeds, American Liezel Huber and Chinese Taipei's Hao-ching Chan, also tonight.

Erakovic and Black beat American Lisa Raymond and Briton Laura Robson 6-4 6-2 in their opening round.

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- Fairfax Media

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