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Martic Fightback Earns Bad Gastein Win

Petra Martic overcame some second set nerves to score a first round win over former champion and No.4 seed Andrea Petkovic in Bad Gastein on Tuesday.

Published July 16, 2013 12:01

Martic Fightback Earns Bad Gastein Win
Petra Martic

BAD GASTEIN, Austria - Petra Martic came from a set down to defeat former champion and No.4 seed Andrea Petkovic in the first round of the NÜRNBERGER Gastein Ladies on Tuesday.

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Twelve months ago, Martic fell at the first hurdle in Bad Gastein, wasting four match points in a heartbreaking loss to Yvonne Meusburger. And when she frittered away a 5-3 lead in the second set against Petkovic, another early exit looked on the cards.

However, she regrouped to level the match up and then held her nerve amidst a flurry of service breaks in the decider to emerge triumphant, 76(5) 57 63.

"It was really tough mentally and physically," Martic said. "Andrea's a great player and I knew it was going to be very tough. I also knew I'd need to play very well throughout the whole match, and although there were a few drops, this is normal in such a long match like this.

"Overall, though, I'm really happy, particularly with how I finished the match. We had swapped breaks so many times and it felt good to get ahead and finally hold on!"

Meeting Martic next will be Austrian wildcard Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, who won a hard-fought match with Tereza Mrdeza, 64 63. Mayr-Achleitner reached the final in Bad Gastein two years ago, but arrived at this year's tournament with an air of uncertainty hanging over her fitness after suffering a leg muscle injury prior to Wimbledon.

And against Mredza her leg was given a thorough workout. "Today it was like playing against a brick wall," Mayr-Achleitner said. "I was using more of a high-risk strategy to try and assert myself on the match and Tereza got everything back and they all seemed to bounce right on the baseline!

"I had three weeks off from tennis, when all I could do for exercise was swim. But the crowd was great today and so gave me the support I needed to get over the line. I hope there are as many fans for my second round match."

Joining her there will be No.2 seed Annika Beck, who overcame the heat, some early service jitters and nosebleeds to defeat Shahar Peer, 75 63. Beck served 10 double faults in a rollercoaster first set, which contained seven breaks of serve, before belatedly finding her rhythm to ease through the final four games and into a second round meeting with Mandy Minella.

"It was a tough match," Beck said. "I had problems with the conditions today - it was pretty hot and we're playing at altitude so you can't control the ball all the time. I think we both had some trouble out there.

"After the first set I also had some nosebleeds and we had to have a break for 10 minutes. This has never happened to me before but thankfully it eventually stopped. She came back really well after this and I just tried to stay focused all the time and I'm pleased that I could beat her in two sets."

Elsewhere, in the feel good story of the first round, World No.725 Lisa-Maria Moser defeated Elena Bogdan, 76(6) 26 64. After splitting the opening two sets, the decider looked to be heading for a tie-break until Moser broke at 4-4, before calmly serving it out, wrapping up her maiden WTA main draw win on her first match point.

The day's other shock came at the expense of No.5 seed Kiki Bertens as she was bundled out in straight sets by qualifier Viktorija Golubic. Despite making her debut appearance at a WTA event, the No.259-ranked Golubic betrayed no sign of nerves as she closed out a 62 62 win after little over an hour on court.

Also advancing were Chanelle Scheepers, Andrea Hlavackova, Alexandra Cadantu, Elina Svitolina and Estrella Cabeza Candela.

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