The first round was wrapped up on Wednesday in Stuttgart. The match of the day didn’t quite deliver in terms of a contest, but we did see one of the longest matches of the season so far. The world number one, Simona Halep concluded the day with the first of the second rounders and yet another hard fought battle on court. Read on for six stories in Wednesday’s Set Points from the 2018 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
Kerber turns the tables on Kvitova
Oh how I love tennis! Four days after losing in straights to Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber turned the tables with an equally resounding performance, 6-3 6-2 in the first round of Stuttgart. I was disappointed the match was over so quickly as I had hoped for a stirring contest! It had began quite promisingly with the pair holding serve up till 3-3. Kvitova’s game began to unravel from then on as she became increasingly error-strewn and laboured in her footwork.
All the credit to Kerber who played a fabulous match. The German player was riding a three match losing streak (all in straights) and had suffered a handful of heavy recent losses. This was a much needed win and done so in style. I thought Kerber served terrifically, holding in all eight service games and winning 71% of first serve points.
Kontaveit outlasts Mladenovic in three set tussle
Anett Kontaveit scored only her second win since Australia, saving a pair of match points to beat Kristina Mladenovic, 5-7 7-6(3) 7-6(5) in three hours and nine minutes. I got home for the last set. The quality wasn’t great but I couldn’t decide who was going to win so that made it interesting! Kontaveit’s come up short a number of times in these long drawn-out matches so I was really thrilled for her that she got the win. On reflection, I thought Kontaveit was deserving of the win as she was the more aggressive player in the decider. The way she closed it out, going all in on a forehand, was bigggg. No doubt a big confidence boost for Anett.
Halep battles back… again!
In a performance that epitomised her 2018 season so far, Simona Halep battled back from a set and a break down to beat Magdalena Rybarikova, 4-6 6-2 6-3. This was the only second round match to be played on Wednesday so Halep gets a day off before Friday’s quarterfinals.
Halep struggled with a leg/back injury early on but was rolling by the end, finishing strongly. There were some quality points in the match and Rybarikova remains a fab watch (bring on the grass court season). Halep has not had it easy on the tennis court this season. Her commitment to the task at hand remains admirable. This was Simona’s tenth three set win of 2018 and the fifth time she has come from a set down to win.
While I was working…
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova secured only her third win on the tour in 2018 with an excellent 7-6(7) 5-7 6-4 win over Madison Keys in two hours and 44 minutes. I caught the second half of the second set which was well contested by both.
CoCo Vandeweghe scored a virtual bagel with a 6-1 6-0 (!) win over Sloane Stephens in 56 minutes 🤔🤔🤔
Veronika Kudermetova scored the upset of the day with her first WTA main draw win over Carla Suárez Navarro, 7-6(5) 6-2. I think I saw Kudermetova at the Australian Open as she was playing doubles with Aryna Sabalenka. Yet another one to watch!
Zarina Diyas needed just 65 minutes to see off the lucky loser, Carina Witthoeft, 6-3 6-2.
Halep and Cahill swap roles!
I laughed at this 🤣🤣🤣.
All seven second round matches are previewed on the blog. So many interesting matches! 😍