The first order of business on Monday at the 2014 Generali Ladies Linz was the completion of the qualifying rounds as eight players duked it out for the four main draw spots.
After three rounds of qualifying, Ons Jabeur, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Madison Brengele & Katerina Siniakova secured their ticket to join the tournament’s star-studded main draw lineup.
While the players were busy fighting for spot in the main draw down on the courts, the tournament’s practice court was the site of the annual Linz kids press conference as a large group of school children got to interview some well-known WTA players.
Barbara Schett, Tamira Paszek & Andrea Petkovic were on hand to answer the kids and the tournament was spot on with picking Petkovic for the job as the witty German was exactly the right player for the occasion, charming the kids and breaking the ice with funny answers.
“Why did you start playing tennis?” one of the children asked. “My daddy forced me to!” Petkovic quipped, making more than a few new fans among the kids.
Once the qualifying matches were out of the way, Marina Erakovic & Caroline Garcia had the honor of getting the main draw underway down on center court.
The French Bogota champion did not enjoy a smooth start into the tournament as Erakovic took the first set by storm. Garcia recovered in the second set, forcing a deciding third set. Unfortunately for Garcia, the moment turned once again in the closing set as Erakovic rewarded herself for playing a rather impressive match.
Afterwards, two youngsters battled it out on court as 20-year-olds Anna Schmiedlova & Annika Beck had a fierce battle that swung in favor of the Slovakian, as Beck committed too many unforced errors in key moments of the two-setter.
It was way past 9 PM in Linz as Barbora Zahlavova Strycova & Stefanie Voegele took the court for the final match of the day. Despite the rather late hour, both ladies were in the mood for a lengthy fight as Voegele left the court as winner more than two hours and two fiercely-contested sets later.
Tuesday at the Generali Ladies Linz will be all about the big name players as some of the tournament crowd favorites are due to play their first matches, including Ana Ivanovic & Andrea Petkovic. Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog for all the latest coverage from Linz!