Timea, Andrea Hold Up
Published July 20, 2010 12:00
BAD GASTEIN, Austria - Last year she was unseeded and went all the way to the title; today Andrea Petkovic made a successful start to her defense as top seed at the $220,000 Nürnberger Gastein Ladies. The world No.35 got off to a shaky beginning, though, dropping her opening service game against talented but out-of-form Czech Iveta Benesova.
"In the beginning I felt quite insecure and was nervous, because it's the first time I've been the defending champion," conceded Petkovic, who recovered for a 64 60 win. "But I tried to stay calm because I knew that with the altitude, the balls really fly in the beginning if you're going for your shots.
"After I'd won the first set while not playing my best, I gained in confidence and the standard improved."
The player seeded to meet the defending champion in the final, Timea Bacsinszky, also moved through to the second round with a 61 62 defeat of Anna-Lena Groenefeld. Though neither player managed a first service percentage of 50%, the Swiss No.2 seed was brutally efficient off her German opponent's second serve, winning all 19 of such points.
Before Petkovic and Bacsinszky took to the court, however, the seeds had taken a hit on the second day of play.
First, fourth-seeded Czech Klara Zakopalova was beaten by Julia Goerges of Germany, 62 57 61. Then, having held set seven set points in the opener, Austrian No.1 Sybille Bammer, the tournament's No.5 seed, was upset by Russia's Anastasia Pivovarova, 76(10) 63.
"She was the better player and deserved to win," said 30-year-old Bammer. "I knew in advance that I couldn't show my best tennis here - I knew I'd struggle with the altitude."
There was better news for local fans, if not the seeds, when Yvonne Meusburger held off No.3 Anabel Medina Garrigues in the last match of the day, 64 75. Prague finalist Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, the No.6 seed, had already been dispatched by her husband's cousin, Sandra Zahlavova, 75 63.
But Italian veteran Tathiana Garbin, seeded seventh, restored order with a three set win over 2008 champion Pauline Parmentier, 36 63 61. Other first round winners included Lucie Hradecka, Ukrainian qualifier Lesya Tsurenko, who beat Mariana Duque Marino in a second set tie-break; Austrian wildcard Patricia Mayr; and No.8 seed Anastasija Sevastova.