Sanders storms past Russian into quarters

STORM Sanders produced one of the most impressive performances at the Launceston International on a day that threatened to live up to her Christian name.

In blistering but blustery conditions at a sun-drenched Regional Tennis Centre, all players struggled to cope with conditions that saw sunshades blown over and advertising boards turned into skateboards.

First up on show court No.1, Sanders produced a performance to fit the stage, blowing away No.th8 seed Arina Rodionova, who had defeated her in round 1 last year.

But the 18-year-old left-handed West Australian said it was not as easy as the 6-2, 6-3 scoreline suggested.

``They were really tough conditions,'' Sanders said.

``It was very gusty and swirly so it was hard to get any rhythm. I think I just made a few less errors.''

Her Russian opponent had complained of back problems during her first round victory but Sanders stayed focused to deliver a vital break at 4-3 in the second set.

``I heard about her back but you don't want to think about that. She's still out there playing so you just try and play the ball, not the opponent.''

The reward for Sanders is today's quarter-final clash with No.1 seed Olivia Rogowska, who produced the turnaround of the tournament to progress.

Last week's Burnie International champion was 0-4 down to Bojana Bobusic before winning six straight games to claim the first set en route to a 6-4, 6-4 win.

``I do a lot of training with Olivia in Melbourne but have never played her before so it should be good,'' Sanders added.

But while the top half of the draw will feature one all-Australian quarter-final, the other is an unlikely match-up between Liechtenstein and Russia.

Olympian and No.7 seed Stephanie Vogt continued to wave the flag for her tiny country with another smooth straight-sets victory.

Having dropped just four games in round 1, the 22-year-old eased past Brit Emily Webley-Smith 6-3, 6-4.

``I lost in the first round of the doubles as well so I guess I have conserved a lot of energy,'' Vogt said.

``In those conditions you've got to stay so focused. I had the feel I had her under control but with those conditions it is quite an effort. 

``It's nice to get two wins in a row and my confidence is growing but it's going to get a lot more difficult from here. This is where the tournament really starts.''

Vogt will play Ksenia Lykina after the Russian won a gritty three-setter 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 against China's Yuxuan Zhang.

The bottom half of the draw will also feature one all-Australian quarter-final and one trans-continental match-up.

Viktorija Rajicic faced two match-points at 4-6 down in a second-set tie break against Tammi Patterson before winning four straight points en route to a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory.

This afternoon she will play fellow Aussie and No.5 seed Sacha Jones, who yesterday beat Azra Hadzic 6-0, 7-5.

For the second year running, South Africa's No.2 seed Chanel Simmonds won a first-set tie-break yesterday, eventually defeating China's Ran Tian 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Simmonds will play Shuko Aoyama who overcame Japanese compatriot and No.6 seed Yurika Sema 7-5, 6-0.

All four of today's quarter-finals pit seeds against non-seeds.

Storm Sanders in action in Launceston yesterday against No.8 seed Arina Rodionova. Picture: WILL SWAN

Storm Sanders in action in Launceston yesterday against No.8 seed Arina Rodionova. Picture: WILL SWAN