Petrova Edges Pfizenmaier In Opener
Published April 23, 2013 12:00
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 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!"