Bad Gastein, AUSTRIA. Jul 07 - Jul 13
USA Flag Grace Min 0 6 2 1
GER Flag Andrea Petkovic 0 4 6 0

Defending Champ Barbora Wins Opener

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova beat Marie-Ève Pelletier in the first round of the Bell Challenge on Tuesday. Aleksandra Wozniak also moved on.

Published September 11, 2012 11:21

Defending Champ Barbora Wins Opener
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova

QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - Barbora Zahlavova Strycova's title defense at the Bell Challenge got off to a solid start with a defeat of Marie-Ève Pelletier in first round action on Tuesday.

The sixth-seeded Zahlavova Strycova was pushed in the first set, as she had a set point against her on her own serve at 5-4 but after forcing a tie-break took control for a 76(2) 61 victory.

"The first match is always difficult," Zahlavova Strycova said. "I was a little bit nervous the first set. I wasn't playing the way I wanted to play. But I'm happy that I managed to get through."

Zahlavova Strycova, whose triumph here last year is her lone WTA singles title to date, came into this event on a six-match losing streak.

"It's good to be back again," Zahlavova Strycova said. "It feels very nice. It feels like home. I love this tournament and that's why I keep coming here."

The best hope for a Canadian titlist this year probably sits with No.4 seed Aleksandra Wozniak, who came into this week ranked 42nd, her highest rank since April 2010. Wozniak, who made her WTA qualifying debut here in 2002 and including qualifying outings is making her ninth appearance this year, was a 62 46 63 winner over Elena Vesnina.

"I'm excited to play here again," Wozniak said. "I was playing an opponent who plays like me, offensive tennis. We had some really good points. Playing indoors you have to adjust your game because the points are shorter. You have to go for more winners and mix it up a bit when you have the opportunity. It wasn't easy. Overall, I'm happy I'm through to the second round.

"It's nice to hear the encouragement from the fans. They helped me focus and stay motivated to win points."

Next up for Wozniak is Melanie Oudin, who from 5-3 down in the first set won seven straight games and had a set point against her in the second set tie-break of her 75 76(6) defeat of fellow American Irina Falconi. Now 3-0 against Falconi, Oudin also has fond memories of Québec City, having reached her first career quarterfinal here in 2008.

Also advancing were seventh-seeded Petra Martic and eighth-seeded Lucie Hradecka. Martic rallied from a 5-2 second set deficit in her 64 75 win over Jessica Pegula. Hradecka was a 64 76(5) winner over Maria Sanchez.

In a thriller involving unseeded players, Mirjana Lucic edged Heidi El Tabakh, 64 36 76(5), rallying from 5-3 down in the third set.

Among those in action Wednesday are No.1 seed Dominika Cibulkova, who plays Kirsten Flipkens in her opener.

Share this page!

Related news

  • Halep Vs Niculescu In Bucharest SFs

    July 11, 2014
    Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu will play an all-Romanian semifinal at the Bucharest Open - what happened the only other time they played? Roberta Vinci won too.
  • Errani Cruises Through In Bad Gastein

    July 10, 2014
    Sara Errani continued her seamless transition back onto clay with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Paula Ormaechea in the second round of the NÜRNBERGER Gastein Ladies.
  • Serena Withdraws From Bastad

    July 10, 2014
    Serena Williams has had to withdraw from the Collector Swedish Open in Bastad next week. The World No.1 is the defending champion at the International-level clay court tournament.
To The Top