After yesterday’s epic Sharapova match, all the focus was on the Germans today at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix as three of the highest ranked German WTA players kicked off their Stuttgart campaign.
Despite being jet-lagged and lacking proper preparation after the long Fed Cup travel from Australia, Julia Görges got past Romanian Sorana Cirstea in two sets.
Afterwards, the German was particularly pleased with her first-set performance, her commanding style of play during parts of the match resembled her impressive 2011 Stuttgart run that ended with Görges lifting the winner’s trophy.
The pre-tournament withdrawal of Caroline Wozniacki set up what perhaps was the most intriguing first-round match as Sabine Lisicki met Ana Ivanovic. The Serb had little problems with the Wimbledon finalist, edging out Lisicki in two straightforward sets.
Afterwards, the German confessed to the media that she had not played any tennis for almost three weeks following her Charleston loss due to a shoulder injury. While today’s performance left much to be desired, Lisicki admitted to be pleased of being free of pain now, hoping to capitalize on her newfound health in the coming weeks.
Ivanovic on the other hand was all smiles during the post-match press conference, crediting her recent results to the efforts of her all-Serbian team. The former #1 could end up eliminating two Germans in a row as Ivanovic will be meeting Görges in round two, a victory would most likely not put her crowd favorite status in danger though, as the Serb is one of the darlings of the Stuttgart crowd.
The second German Fed Cup heroine to step on the center court was Andrea Petkovic, as Flavia Pennetta was waiting for the highly-popular German. Unfortunately, Pektovic’s past-week traveling hassles and lack of preparation showed as the match went on. Following a tight first set in favor of Pennetta and a rebound from Petkovic in the second, the Italian took the third set by storm, sending Petkovic out with a breadstick.
Wednesday also marked the first time one of the top seeds took to the Porsche Arena center court as Petra Kvitova faced off with Alisa Kleybanova. Following a cheerful morning practice with coach David Kotyza, the Czech’s performance quickly turned the smiles in her squad upside down as Kvitova had no answer to the game of Alisa Kleybanova. A short second-set resurgence by Kvitova was enough to force a tiebreak that Kleybanova comfortably took for a straight set win.
Tomorrow, the first and second seed will join the action as Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep will make their debut at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix this year.
I’m not shock Kvitova is out early. Little but sad Andre is out but I’m sure she will do better next event. Always happy to see Ana go further in WTA events.