Bencic upset in Linz, Sharapova arrives to meet fans despite withdrawal

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After Monday night’s party, the Upper Austria Ladies Linz kicked into higher gear on Tuesday, with nine first-round matches and a number of off-court activities that the WTA stars participated in.

Qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam, currently ranked No.166, scored her first Top 10 victory by defeating second seed Belinda Bencic 6-4 2-6 6-2. The German’s biggest career win happened as she kickstarted her comeback from a shoulder injury, while the US Open semifinalist Bencic is now out of the race for the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

One more seed was ousted in the first round on Tuesday, as Alize Cornet upset seventh seed Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-4.

Our photographer Jimmie48 also attended fifth seed Julia Goerges‘ 6-4 6-2 victory over Margarita Gasparyan, qualifier Laura Siegemund‘s three-set triumph over Fiona Ferro, and late night routine progress of fourth seed Donna Vekic past Polona Hercog.

We don’t have photos of Cori Gauff’s first-round victory over Stefanie Voegele, but it has to be mentioned, since the young American had lost in the final round of qualifying and after making the main draw as a lucky loser by virtue of Maria Sakkari’s withdrawal, she made the most of her last-minute entrance, beating the Swiss 6-3 7-6(3).

Away from the courts, Kiki Bertens, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Kristyna Pliskova participated in a Linzer Torte baking challenge and we can see that the players thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thirteen years after winning the Linz title, Maria Sharapova is back in the Austrian town and even though a shoulder injury is preventing her from playing, the Russian made the local crowd happy by signing autographs and talking to the media.

Keep coming back to Women’s Tennis Blog for more photos from Linz this week.


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