LINZ, Austria - No.2 seed Barbora Strycova fought through a tricky opening round against Madison Brengle to advance in straight sets at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz.

Strycova needed just under two hours and weathered nine breaks of serve to see off the American 7-5, 6-3.

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The Czech, who’s reached three WTA semifinals this year at Prague, Biel/Bienne and Sydney, came into the matchup looking to end the year on a good note and take home her first title.

She ran up against a tricky opponent in 27-year-old American Brengle, and had trouble putting her away in the first set despite leading by a break twice. Brengle leveled the match at 2-2, and then later at 4-4, to keep Strycova under pressure.

But, undeterred, Strycova kept up her attack and finally broke through once more, reeling off three straight games to close out the set.

There were 20 break chances created in the tense second set as both players battled to hold serve. After trading breaks early in the set, it was Strycova who took advantage of the opportunities she created, edging through to win four games in a row and make her way into the second round.   

Up next Strycova will take on Croatian qualifier Jana Fett who defeated Denisa Allertova 7-5, 6-2 in yesterday’s action.

More to follow...