First round action at the 2016 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart continued on Tuesday with five main draw singles matches. All of them were done and dusted in straight sets including five bagels! I love to watch tennis from Stuttgart and thankfully, the streams began today including coverage of the doubles matches. The final five first round matches will be played on Wednesday, including the first of the second round matches with the defending champion, Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza in action. For previews of Safarova-Pliskova and Petkovic-Mladenovic, click HERE. Read on for Tuesday’s Set Points from Stuttgart…
Tuesday began with a double bagel… Peak Petra was in the house! Petra Kvitova defeated Louisa Chirico, 6-0 6-0 in just 54 minutes. It was obviously a stunning start for Petra who had some super stats. Spare a thought for Chirico who didn’t hit one winner. Still, the American player had a decent week coming through a tough qualifying draw.
Three German players were in singles action on Tuesday and two of them were successful in joining Angelique Kerber and Anna-Lena Friedsam in advancing to the second round. Annika Beck defeated Camila Giorgi in straight sets, 6-4 6-2. Break point conversions were key in this one; Beck converted just three out of 14 break points but Giorgi was zero out of seven.
Laura Siegemund is having a sensational run right now; the 28-year-old backed up her three wins in qualifying with a 6-0 7-5 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian player has lost her last five matches on the WTA tour. Siegemund though, is going from strength to strength and will be up to yet another career high ranking next Monday. She gets a shot at Simona Halep in the second round…
In the first of the night matches, Ana Ivanovic recovered from a slow start to eventually overwhelm Carina Witthoeft, 7-6(3) 6-0; since watching Witthoeft play a couple of stinkers at Indian Wells and Miami, the German player has really cleaned up her game. She played a decent first set and looked at ease on this surface, benefiting from three qualifying wins. Witthoeft served for the first set at *5-4 but Ivanovic, who started slow, broke back on one of the best rallies of the match. She would go onto to take the first set on the tiebreak by virtue of a backhand winner.
It was an understandably sluggish start from Ivanovic who was playing her first match on clay this year. She was on the back foot and struggled in defence as Witthoeft dictated the majority of early rallies. However, Ivanovic started to settle and find her groove. Ivanovic dropped just 11 points in a clinical second set performance; she will play either Lucie Safarova or Karolina Pliskova in the second round.
In the final match of the day, Carla Suárez Navarro won the last 11 (!) games and rallied from 2-3* 0-40* down in the first set to defeat Oceane Dodin, 6-3 6-0. Dodin began the match with a flurry of return winners and BIG shotmaking, but Suárez Navarro didn’t panic and eventually began to assert her game with more conviction. While Dodin unravelled in the second set, it was a solid display from the Spaniard who plays Friedsam in the second round.
It was great to see some doubles streamed today, particularly after the lack of coverage throughout the last month. Lucie Safarova and Sabine Lisicki defeated Roberta Vinci and Annika Beck out on court 1, 6-2 2-6 10-7. Lucie and Sabine are a fun pair to watch :-).
Remember Rebecca Marino? She was one of my favourite players but unfortunately decided to retire back in 2013, struggling with depression. I’m delighted to see that she’s in a much better place now and is involved in rowing! To find out more about Marino’s story, check out the article linked below.
The Tennis Island is well worth a follow this week… I enjoyed this piece linked below on Garbiñe Muguruza based on her pre-tournament press conference. She plays her first match of the week against Timea Babos on Wednesday night.
And finally, thanks to Mitch (@carnesy56 on Twitter) for taking the time to write a guest post on Moo’s Tennus Blog about his time at the 2016 Australian Open. Part one covering the first week is HERE and part two covering the second week including the women’s singles final will be published soon…