Top seed Sara Errani came through a tougher-than-expected first round assignment against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the NÜRNBERGER Gastein Ladies on Wednesday.
WTA Staff

BAD GASTEIN, Austria - Top seed Sara Errani came through a tougher-than-expected first round assignment against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the NÜRNBERGER Gastein Ladies on Wednesday.

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Twelve months ago, Errani gained first-hand experience of the Austrian Alps' famously temperamental meteorological conditions on her way to the semifinals at the Hotel Europäischerhof. While the weather has proven more agreeable on her return, the on-court conditions have proven to be as tricky as ever for the Italian, who took over an hour and a half to battle past qualifier Sasnovich, 6-4, 6-4.

"Last year was tough because of the weather - it was raining a lot," Errani said. "When it is sunny like this, it's an unbelievable place.

"But it's never easy to play here. The altitude makes it very different and the ball is flying, which I didn't have much time to practice and she was playing great - it was not easy to play for me."

After losing early at Wimbledon, Errani bounced back in Bucharest where she finished runner-up to WTA Rising Star Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. The two could meet again in the final this week, although Errani is reluctant to look too far ahead.

"Hopefully we can meet again. But I'm always thinking the same way: my plan is only thinking about the next match. Today was good, so now I will just focus on tomorrow."

Schmiedlova kept her half of the bargain by fighting back to see off Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in her first round match, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0, while in the first batch of second round matches Samantha Stosur and Annika Beck were victorious.

Beck, a quarterfinalist in Bad Gastein two years ago, comfortably saw off Denisa Allertova, 6-2, 6-3, while No.2 seed Stosur was an even more impressive 6-1, 6-0 winner over Klara Koukalova.

"I guess the score looked pretty easy, but you never can let up in matches even if you feel like you're going really comfortably," Stosur said. "I've been in enough matches where it's turned around to know that you have to stay concentrated and keep doing all the right things to make sure you finish it off."