Kvitova Advances In Stuttgart; Azarenka v Pliskova, Osaka v Hsieh Thurs.

Kvitova Advances In Stuttgart; Azarenka v Pliskova, Osaka v Hsieh Thurs.

by Staff | April 24th, 2019, 8:30 pm

Petra Kvitova made a successful 2019 debut on the clay beating Greet Minnen, 6-1, 6-4 in Stuttgart today.

“I think I started pretty well,” Kvitova said. “I think that I was ready from the first point. I didn’t know the opponent which is always tricky, so I was really focusing.”

“You know, playing on the clay the first time is always kind of difficult,” she added. “I like playing indoor, but you know it’s kind of different playing here compared to other clay courts. I think in the end I served okay. A few of the games weren’t really perfect, but for the first match on clay it was fine.”

Kvitova will have a day off Thursday before facing either Anastasija Sevastova or German Laura Siegemund.

Belinda Bencic kept her good 2019 going beating Mandy Minella 6-2, 6-4 and Anett Kontaveit ousted Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-3.

In a battle of former Top 5 players. Victoria Azarenka edged lucky loser Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-4.

“It was a huge challenge for me today and I’m very happy with the way I handled it,” said Azarenka who just flew in from Fed Cup in Australia. “I was not really expecting too much from myself today in terms of tennis, because I literally played 30 minutes on clay, but I did expect to give my best effort.”

On Thursday, Azarenka will face defending champion Karolina Pliskova.

Also tomorrow, Naomi Osaka plays her first clay match of the season, and she’ll renew her new rivalry with Su-Wei Hsieh who beat the Japanese in Miami a few weeks ago.

“I think we love each other too much,” Hsieh joked about their two epic encounters already this year. “We just want to see each other more on the court. Don’t leave me, Naomi!”

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