Wickmayer Wins, Kvitova & Bartoli Too
Published January 30, 2013 12:00
But in the daytime it was the first round on the menu, and Yanina Wickmayer had the most dramatic win of them all, beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 76(7) 46 63. Wickmayer saved two set points to take the first set then almost let go of the third, letting 5-0 become 5-3 before finally closing it out.
"Anastasia's a very tough opponent and it was a pretty tough draw for the first round," Wickmayer said afterwards. "The first set was important. I was down but just tried to stay positive, and tried to make her work for every point. I played some good tennis to win the tie-break and eventually the match."
Also needing three sets to win were No.6 seed and two-time Open GDF SUEZ finalist Lucie Safarova, who stormed back from a first set blowout to beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 26 61 61, and Magdalena Rybarikova, who won an all-qualifier marathon against France's own Virginie Razzano, 64 36 63.
"It was very tough today because I had already played through the qualifying and was pretty tired," Rybarikova said. "Virginie is a very good player - she has beaten everybody there is, like we saw at Roland Garros last year against Serena - so she's a very dangerous player and I'm very happy to win."
Safarova, who brings her best tennis to Paris year after year, got a wildcard into this year's event. "I'm happy I got into the draw this year and that it turned out well today," the Czech said. "I have nice memories here and I always like coming back - the public is really good and the city is so nice."
The night session saw Top 10 stars Bartoli and Kvitova survive tricky first sets then move smoothly ahead in straight sets. No.3 seed Bartoli was first up, facing a 5-3 first set hole - even surviving four set points down 5-4 - before winning 10 of the next 11 games to beat Christina McHale, 75 61.
Kvitova, the No.2 seed this week, didn't face any points in the first set but almost lost control of it, losing six of seven games from 4-0 up to go 6-5 down. The Czech held in the next game and toughed out a tie-break to take the set, though, and eventually beat qualifier Stefanie Voegele, 76(5) 63.
"I knew how I had to play and that's why I served well in the beginning - that was the key to the match," Kvitova said. "I knew she would keep fighting, she's a tough player, and it's always tough to play her. I'm just happy I kept playing my game and won today, because she was playing very well."