Seeds Survive Day One in Prague
Published July 13, 2009 06:59
PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Three of the top four seeds were in action on day one of the ECM Prague Open, and to varying degrees each was tested before advancing into the second round of the $220,000 International series event.
For a while top seed Francesca Schiavone seemed to be in trouble yet again against Shahar Peer, who had handily won their two previous encounters and went all the way to the title here at Prague three years ago. But after recovering an early break the Italian veteran edged the first set and gained a break early in the second to chart a course for a 75 63 win. Peer later withdrew from the doubles - she and Ioana Raluca Olaru were seeded fourth - citing a right heel injury.
Earlier, in the first main draw match of the tournament, No.2 seed Sybille Bammer dropped the opener to Tsvetana Pironkova, and only survived courtesy of a second set tie-break. Even in the decider the 29-year-old Austrian lefty had to work hard for victory, finally stopping her Bulgarian opponent, 26 76(2) 75.
Similarly, Carla Suárez Navarro, seeded fourth, had to dig deep against Warsaw Open champion Alexandra Dulgheru, who was up a break in the final set but couldn't hold on. The Spaniard's greater experience made the difference as she made a definitive surge to prevail, 46 63 63.
The only other main draw singles match of the day saw Czech player Barbora Zahlavova Strycova score a win over Slovak wildcard Kristina Kucova in straight sets, 75 64. The final round of qualifying was also completed, with Timea Bacsinszky, Petra Martic, Ksenia Pervak and junior star Kristina Mladenovic - the reigning French Open girls' champion - all securing berths in the main event.