STUTTGART, Germany - The first round wrapped up and the second round began at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, with the first upset of the Premier-level event taking place - Alisa Kleybanova took out Petra Kvitova for her first Top 10 win since winning her battle against Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Kleybanova was no stranger to the big leagues - she had nine Top 10 wins going into the match and has been as high as No.20 in the world herself - but she hadn't quite broken through again since her well-publicized battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma, which saw her sit out from May 2011 until March 2012.
Hadn't quite broken through again until now, that is. Kleybanova shone against Kvitova on center court on Wednesday, going toe-to-toe with her in the power department - they both hit 13 winners - but keeping her unforced errors far more in check - she had 19, Kvitova 33. At the end of the day the Russian was just too solid, rallying from 5-3 down in the second set to end it in straights, 62 76(3).
Kleybanova's win over the World No.6 was her first Top 10 win since 2011. Her first nine included five in 2009 (Ana Ivanovic at the Australian Open, Venus Williams in Madrid, Jelena Jankovic in Toronto and Moscow and Vera Zvonareva in Tokyo), two in 2010 (Elena Dementieva in Kuala Lumpur and Jankovic in San Diego) and two in 2011 (Francesca Schiavone in Sydney and Zvonareva in Dubai).
The first round also wrapped up earlier in the day, with German wildcard Julia Goerges coming from 3-1 down in the second set to beat Sorana Cirstea in straights, 61 75, No.9 seed Ana Ivanovic beating Sabine Lisicki, 61 63, and Flavia Pennetta winning a see-saw battle with Andrea Petkovic, 75 36 61.
Goerges may be struggling for form at the moment - she's a former No.15 currently down at No.94 - but this has always been one of her favorite tournaments, winning her biggest title here in 2011.
The German talked afterwards about her win over Cirstea. "It was a good match for me today," she said. "I was pretty surprised with the way I played in the first set, actually, it was pretty flawless.
"If I could play like that all the time it would be great."
Goerges is also a big fan of this surface. "I'm looking forward to all the tournaments on clay. Not just here in Stuttgart, but especially Madrid, where I played really well three years ago as well. And the French Open is the main goal, obviously. I'm just looking forward to everywhere I'm playing."