Fourth seed Alicia Molik beat Australian compatriot Nicole Pratt 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
Doha:Fourth seed Alicia Molik beat Australian compatriot Nicole Pratt 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open. With one tournament title and a quarter-final berth at the Australian Open already under her belt this season, Molik came into this second round clash clearly the favourite and she took control from the off, breaking Pratt in the fourth game to go 3-1 up. Molik then held for 4-1 but she allowed her opponent back into it - Pratt, who on Tuesday outlasted Selima Safr of Tunisia 7-5, 6-2 in the first round - took full advantage to claw back to 4-3. But after her wobble on a decidedly breezy day, the younger player got a grip on herself and won the next two games to take the set 6-3. The pattern repeated itself in the second set with Molik breaking Pratt twice to go 3-0 up. But again a lack of concentration saw Molik falter and her unseeded opponent pegged her back to 3-2. And again, just like the first set, that was a cue for Molik to stamp her authority on the match. She reeled off four games in a row - sealing her victory with an ace - to end up a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 winner. Her reward is a quarter-final clash on Thursday against Francesca Schiavone of France, who beat Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. (AP)