Amanmuradova Steps In & Takes Out Cibulkova
Published April 25, 2012 12:00
STUTTGART, Germany - The first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix wrapped up on Wednesday, with Caroline Wozniacki leading the last three players into the last 16 of the Premier stop on the indoor clay of Stuttgart.
The No.6-seeded Wozniacki looked in early trouble against Jelena Jankovic, falling behind 3-1 in the first set, but she won six games in a row to build a 63 10 lead - Jankovic was then forced to retire due to a low back injury.
"It was definitely not the way you want to win a match," Wozniacki said. "It was a tough draw - she's a former World No.1 and can play some amazing tennis. I hope Jelena can get well soon and come back and be ready for Madrid."
Wozniacki was the runner-up here last year, falling to Julia Goerges in the final. "This is a great tournament," the Dane said. "I really enjoy being back here - it's a great atmosphere and a very strong field, with most of the top players here. And the fact you can win a Porsche makes you fight even harder!"
Next up for Wozniacki is Germany's Angelique Kerber, who beat her in straight sets a week and a half ago on home soil, in the final of Copenhagen. "She's been playing well lately - I'm looking forward to playing another match," said Wozniacki, who was 14-0 in Copenhagen before that loss to Kerber.
Another German making a fast rise on the WTA these days is Mona Barthel, and the No.35-ranked wildcard won arguably the most entertaining match of the day, ousting No.15-ranked former No.1 Ana Ivanovic in a tight two-setter, 75 76(4). Barthel saved three set points while serving at 4-5 in the opening set.
"On all of my set points she hit big serves - she served great and played very well today," Ivanovic said. "I really had my chances in the first set. It was disappointing to finish like this but she was playing on top of her game."
Ivanovic still has some positives from the last week - she and Jankovic led Serbia into the Fed Cup final for the very first time on the weekend, each scoring points for their country during a thrilling semifinal victory over Russia.
"There's a lot at stake in Fed Cup - you're playing for your country in a different way," Ivanovic said. "I have to say I was still a little bit tired from Fed Cup.
"There are a lot of things I'm happy about though. I'm striking the ball well. I just have to have a bit of rest and recover now, and start getting ready for some of the other big tournaments coming up in the clay court season."
The other first round match was supposed to be an all-Slovak affair between Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova, but after Hantuchova had to pull out due to a foot injury, lucky loser Akgul Amanmuradova stepped in - and won. The big-serving Uzbek blasted 11 aces to beat Cibulkova, 62 57 63,
Amanmuradova's win over the No.16-ranked Cibulkova is the third Top 20 win of her career, having also beaten then-No.18 Agnes Szavay at Bangalore in 2008 and then-No.2 Jankovic in a massive upset at Cincinnati in 2010.