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Kvitova Wins, First Round Wraps Up

Four Top 10 players were in action on Tuesday as the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships came to a close. Sara Errani and Petra Kvitova were among the winners.

Published February 19, 2013 12:00

Kvitova Wins, First Round Wraps Up
Petra Kvitova

DUBAI, UAE - A quartet of Top 10 stars took Centre Court on Tuesday as the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships wrapped up, with Sara Errani and Petra Kvitova among the winners.

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The No.5-seeded Errani was the first to advance, absorbing 10 aces and pouncing at the very last minute to beat Julia Goerges, 63 46 64. There were no breaks in the first nine games of the third set and that pattern looked like it was going to continue as Goerges built a 40-0 lead serving 4-5; but Errani fought off five game points in that game and eventually broke to seal a hard-fought victory.

"She was playing the ball very strong - maybe I've never seen somebody hitting that strong on the forehand," Errani said afterwards. "She was also serving strong and the court is fast, so it wasn't easy. I just tried to defend, tried to play my game, make as few unforced errors as possible and try to put the ball back when I could - it was a tough challenge, but of course I'm very happy I could win."

Errani tried everything to keep the ball away from the Goerges forehand. "I tried to play more on the backhand, for sure," she said. "I just tried to play to her backhand when I could, because with her forehand it was just impossible to play. She was making winners everywhere. It was very tough."

The No.6-seeded Kvitova didn't have as much trouble in her match, holding all seven service games and breaking five times to beat Daniela Hantuchova, 62 61. Kvitova is now 6-0 against the Slovak.

"I'm not a person who looks at the score - it seems very quick and very easy, but some games were very close," Kvitova said. "But it was a good match from my side. I'm happy with how I played."

The night session kicked off with No.8 seed Caroline Wozniacki cruising past Lucie Safarova, 62 62, a little bit of revenge for the former No.1 - Safarova had won two of their three previous meetings.

"Last time it was a lot tougher, 7-6 in the third set, and I lost," Wozniacki said. "In general I felt the ball pretty well today. I feel the ball sometimes flies here a little bit, but I thought it was okay today. The serves and returns were quite tricky - I found they were going a little bit far - but I don't know, probably I just needed to get into the rhythm, and it'll get better from here into my next matches this week.

"Lucie is a tough opponent - she takes the ball really early, really fast, and it's tricky to play a left-hander as well. So I'm happy to be through. There were quite a few positives to take from it."

Safarova had a very simple summary of the match. "I was making way too many mistakes, and I couldn't get into the rhythm," the Czech said. "Caroline was bringing the balls back. I was missing."

The Centre Court schedule wrapped with No.7 seed Sam Stosur beating Ekaterina Makarova, 63 61.

The other three matches of the day took place on Court 1, with Nadia Petrova blasting 11 aces to beat Dominika Cibulkova, 57 63 62; Zheng Jie beating Urszula Radwanska in a battle of qualifiers, 62 26 75; and Roberta Vinci taking out another player who qualified, Svetlana Kuznetsova, 63 62.

Earlier, No.1 seed Victoria Azarenka announced her withdrawal from the event due to a foot injury.

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