STUTTGART, Germany - Two Top 10 players took Center Court in Wednesday's day session as the first round continued at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix - but only one of them was able to survive.
Caroline Wozniacki, the No.7 seed, was the first to take the court and she was the fallen one, suffering a 76(6) 61 loss at the hands of Carla Suárez Navarro. Wozniacki had her chances in the first set - she led 3-0 and was two points from taking it with Suárez Navarro serving 4-5, 0-30 - but the Spaniard hung tough every time and won the marathon 70-minute opening set, then cruised in the second.
Suárez Navarro's win over the No.10-ranked Wozniacki was her sixth Top 10 win, having previously beaten Venus Williams (2009 Australian Open), Svetlana Kuznetsova (2010 Indian Wells), Sam Stosur (2012 Olympics), Petra Kvitova (2012 Beijing) and most recently Sara Errani (2013 Australian Open).
Speaking of Kvitova, the No.5-seeded Czech survived her own inspired opponent, albeit barely - she came out of an early 4-1 deficit to take the first set, then dropped the second set and faced points for a 3-1 deficit in the third before regrouping and making it past Annika Beck, 75 67(0) 63. The closeness of the match was defined by the final points tally: Kvitova won 110 points in the match, Beck 109.
"The match was very tough today - every game we played was very close," Kvitova said. "It was very tough to go from playing Fed Cup outdoors to playing here indoors now. The clay is different, too. It will take some time to feel better - normally I need a little bit of time to get used to a new surface.
"I'm feeling much better than I did in the beginning of Katowice, but it's still not the best."
Kvitova Vs Beck Video: Match Highlights
"Today's match was a good one to get through," Safarova said. "I was playing against an opponent who had been practicing here on the center court in the lead-up to the Fed Cup tie on the weekend. It took me a few games to get my rhythm because the conditions here are so different to Fed Cup in Palermo, where the surface was very slow - here it's much faster and it took a while to get used to.
"The first set was very close, but in the second set Mona made a few more errors, while I tried to keep putting the ball back into the court and keep the pressure on her. I'm happy I made it through."
"I definitely didn't play my best tennis today - Fed Cup weekend with two three-setters was obviously physically exhausting," Barthel said. "But Lucie played really well. As a result it was very hard for me to get into the game. She had the better shots in almost every rally and everything came together.
"I had a great 10 days here in Stuttgart. I wish I could have done better at my home tournament, but on the whole I'm pretty satisfied with it. Now I'm looking forward to the coming tournaments."