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Petrova Edges Pfizenmaier In Opener

Nadia Petrova won a tight two-setter against Dinah Pfizenmaier in her first match. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni powered through her opener and will next play one of the top seeds - which one?

Published April 23, 2013 12:00

Petrova Edges Pfizenmaier In Opener
Nadia Petrova

STUTTGART, Germany - Nadia Petrova was the only seed in action as the first round kicked off at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Tuesday, and she made it through her opener - it wasn't easy though.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Stuttgart all week right here!

One of the biggest servers on the tour, Petrova seemed to meet her match in Dinah Pfizenmaier, the two players putting on a serving display early on, with no breaks in the first 10 games of the match - they split breaks in the next two games to get to 6-all, with Petrova cruising in the tie-break.

The first nine games of the second set went on serve too but the No.8-seeded Petrova broke through right when she needed to, sneaking out a break at 5-4 to close the German qualifier out, 76(2) 64.

"She served amazing today," Petrova said. "It was really difficult for me to break, and that's why she took me to the tie-breaker in the first set. But I stayed calm and collected and I was able to win the set. Then I said, 'Okay, this is the time, step it up.' I was able to break her again to win the match.

"She made me work really hard. She's a great player. We're going to see a lot of her in the future."

Petrova Vs Pfizenmaier Video: Match Highlights | Petrova Interview

Petrova wasn't the only WTA veteran to win their first round match - fellow thirty-something Mirjana Lucic-Baroni was also a winner, beating Elena Vesnina, 60 64. Lucic-Baroni, a qualifier, stormed out to a 60 10 lead, but Vesnina would put up much more resistance during the 46-minute second set.

"I'm thrilled with my win today," Lucic-Baroni said after the match. "Elena is a great player and we always play tough against each other. I knew in order to win I had to play some really good tennis. And I can't wait to see the tape and review it - but I felt it was some really good tennis out there today."

Lucic-Baroni is currently being coached by Goran Prpic, who was her coach when she was a junior and starting out on the WTA back in the 1990s. "I've been working hard and feeling really good," she said. "My coach has been making a few changes. He knows me well and has helped me a lot. And right now I'm not only working hard and trying to improve, but I'm really trying to enjoy it - everybody says that, it's a little bit of a cliché, but I've really stopped with the goals and the planning these days.

"I want to play tennis for a few more years. I just want to get out there and play good tennis."

And what better place to enjoy her tennis this much than her homeland - the Croat was actually born in Dortmund, Germany. "It's really fun for me to play here in Germany where I was born," Lucic-Baroni commented. "I have a lot of good friends who come to see me when I'm playing here, so it's nice!"

Next up for Lucic-Baroni is the No.2 seed, Li Na. "I'm absolutely going to need a bigger level than today," she said. "Li Na is an amazing player and it will be good for me to play at that level."

Lucic-Baroni Vs Vesnina Video: Match Highlights | Lucic-Baroni Interview 

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