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Beck Wins Opener In Brazil

The first day of main draw play at the inaugural WTA Brasil Tennis Cup featured victories by Annika Beck and Jana Cepelova.

Published February 24, 2013 11:47

Beck Wins Opener In Brazil
Annika Beck, Fernanda Alves

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil - Main draw action at the inaugural WTA Brasil Tennis Cup, the first WTA tournament in Brazil in over a decade, kicked off on Sunday with 19-year-olds Annika Beck and Jana Cepelova each recordings wins over Brazilian wildcards.

With a season already highlighted by her best WTA outing, a quarterfinal showing in Shenzhen, Beck reached her career-high of No.65 last week. Although she promptly lost her opener in Memphis to Marina Erakovic, she gave the eventual champion her biggest test of the week - which included a match point for the German.

In her opener in Florianopolis, where she is seeded at a WTA event for the first time, the eighth-seeded Beck overcame a second set letdown and was a 62 36 60 victor over María Fernanda Alves. At one point in the one-sided third set, Beck reeled off 13 straight points.

"I'm really happy that I won this match," Beck said. "The first two sets we had a great fight. It took a great effort for her to finish because she got cramps in the beginning of the third set. I hope that she's okay, and I'm looking forward to my next round.

"In my next match I need to be more aggressive, not allow myself to be pushed back out of the court, and come to the net and finish the points earlier."

As for Cepelova, she started off in a two-break, 4-1 hole against Paula Cristina Goncalves. But then she captured five straight games and went out to a 5-0 lead in the tie-break in seizing control of her 76(4) 62 triumph.

"I did not start well, going 4-1 down," Cepelova said. "But then I picked it up, and I feel good about how I finished the first set and the match."

Beck and Cepelova will play each other in the second round. Beck is 2-0 in the series, but both have been tight three-setters.

Securing main draw spots with wins in qualifying were Beatriz García Vidagany, Chieh-Yu Hsu, Tereza Mrdeza, María Irigoyen, Adriana Pérez and Kristina Barrois.

Doubles play also kicked off, with No.1 seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova among the winners.

Highlighting Monday's action is top-seeded Venus Williams against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. It will be Williams' first match since the Australian Open, as a back injury has sidelined her. In her only previous encounter with Lucic-Baroni, Williams did not surrender a game in the first round of the 2002 US Open.

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