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Pierce, Safina in last eight

Former champion Mary Pierce scratched out a 6-2, 6-4 win over Anabel Garrigues to open her account at the Open Gaz de France.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2006 14:37 IST

Former champion Mary Pierce scratched out a 6-2, 6-4 win over Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain to open her account at the Open Gaz de France on Wednesday.

Pierce, the champ in 1998 and twice a finalist, converted five of 10 break points, but struggled with her own serve.

The second seed broke Medina Garrigues in the fourth game, and the Spaniard double-faulted to concede the first set.

In the second, a Medina Garrigues unforced error conceded the fourth game, but she rallied to level at 4-4. However, Pierce broke her again on her first match point with a backhand down the line.

Beside Loit, defending champ Dinara Safina also won her second-round match.

In the last first-round matches, fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva and Nathalie Dechy of France were winners, and will play each other for a place in the quarters.

Dementieva, coming off a victory in Tokyo on Sunday, dispatched Swedish qualifier Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-2 with five breaks.

Dechy ousted countrywoman Marion Bartoli 6-0, 6-2 to set up a 10th career meeting with Dementieva, who leads the series 7-2.

Seventh-seeded Safina was untroubled in beating Virginie Razzano of France 6-4, 6-3 to extend her title defense.

Loit cruised by Stephanie Foretz 6-0, 6-3 and set up another all-French match with Pierce.

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 14:37 IST