The first round of the 17th edition of the Monte Carlo Classic in Monaco saw three significant upsets as Lucie Fialova, Tesni Evans and Lisa Aitken advanced to the quarter-finals.
Fialova, the left-handed Czech, took the first two games against Ireland’s fourth seed Aisling Blake, who fought back to level the match only to lose the decider 11/8 after 79 minutes.
Welsh number one Evans was up against experienced American Latasha Khan, the sixth seed, and she too needed the full five games, taking it 11/9 in ther fifth in just under an hour’s play.
Evans now meets defending champion Natalie Grinham, the second seed who beat fellow Dutchwoman Orla Noom in straight games.
Fialova faces Heba El Torky, one of three Egyptians in the quarter-finals. Torky beat England’s Lauren Selby in straight games, third seed Nour El Tayeb ended French interest with a 3/0 win over Coline Aumard, and Omneya Abdel Kawy beat fellow Egyptian Salma Hany in a quick three games.
Top seed Madeline Perry denied the Egyptian camp a fourth quarter-finalist, but the top seed had to come from a game down to beat young Nouran Gohar in exactly an hour. She now meets Scotland’s Aitken, who also came from a game down to beat Swiss seventh seed Gaby Huber.