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Ivanovic & Stephens Advance In Linz

Two-time Generali Ladies Linz champion Ana Ivanovic won her opener on Tuesday, as did second-seeded Sloane Stephens.

Published October 08, 2013 12:01

Ivanovic & Stephens Advance In Linz
Ana Ivanovic

LINZ, Austria - Ana Ivanovic and Sloane Stephens were among the first round winners on Tuesday at the Generali Ladies Linz.

In an encounter featuring former Linz champions, 2008 and 2010 winner Ivanovic bested 2009 titlist Yanina Wickmayer, 62 64.

"The first set was very close until 4-2," Ivanovic said. "And then the last couple games of the first set I played much better and she made a few more errors. The second set was very close."

Now 17-3 all-time at this tournament, the third-seeded Ivanovic next takes on fellow former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

"I have a tough draw," Ivanovic said. "We've played a few times in the past, so I know what to expect. She's a great fighter. I expect a very tough match."

As for Stephens, after going down an early break at 2-1 in the first set against Magdalena Rybarikova, the second-seeded American surrendered just two more games the rest of the way for a 63 61 triumph.

"I arrived a little late, so I'm still a little jet-lagged from being in Asia, but overall it thought it went well and I played a good match," said Stephens, who came into this week ranked a career-high No.12.

Stephens' second round opponent will be former Top 10 player Andrea Petkovic, a 63 75 winner over Yvonne Meusburger.

"All in all it was a good quality match," Petkovic said. "I played really well. The only game I'm really unhappy with is the game I served for the match at 5-2 and I had two double faults. I lost my focus, my concentration. And then she started playing really well again. I don't really have any regrets from 5-3 on to 5-5. All in all I'm pretty satisfied. I moved really well and my strokes were good. Just the focus needs to be better."

Also moving on were fourth-seeded Carla Suárez Navarro, fifth-seeded Kirsten Flipkens and seventh-seeded Dominika Cibulkova.

There was one upset, as Patricia Mayr-Achleitner got past No.6 seed Sorana Cirstea, 16 63 64, in what ranked as the Austrian's best career win in terms of ranking.

"I started badly. I was very nervous," Mayr-Achleitner said. "But in the second set I played better. Then at the end, I was getting nervous again. To finish the match against No.21 in the world is not easy.

"To have belief, that's the first thing. Belief that I can win against her. She's a great player. It was a good match."

In addition to the Ivanovic-Schiavone match, Wednesday's schedule includes first round matches for top-seeded Angelique Kerber and 2007 Linz champion Daniela Hantuchova.

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