Berlin | Vondrousova launches grass court campaign

At the ecotrans Ladies Open in Berlin, reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova began her grass-court campaign by defeating qualifier Rebeka Masarova from Spain, 6-4 6-3, on Monday.

The No 5 seed from the Czech Republic was the lone seeded player in action on Day 1, and she saved 4 of the 5 break points she faced while scoring winners on 74.3% of her first-serve points.

The Czech World No 6 became the first unseeded player to win the Wimbledon ladies singles title after she defeated Ons Jabeur from Spain in last year’s final.

Vondrousova has now won her past 8 matches on grass following her maiden Grand Slam triumph at the All England Club last summer.

She had to overcome 3 break points during the opening set before striking in the 9th game for a 5-4 lead and serving it out.

Vondrousova maintained that momentum, and immediately broke Masarova in the second before establishing a 4-1 advantage with another break of serve.

Masarova responded to reduce the deficit, but Vondrousova closed out the win on the Spaniard’s serve to ensure a winning start as she prepares to defend her Wimbledon crown in 2 weeks time.

24-year-old Vondrousova will play Anna Kalinskaya next, after the Russian defeated Japanese qualifier Nao Hibino from a set down, 2-6 6-4 6-2.

Kalinskaya, ranked 24, has achieved a 22-11 match record this season, and was a finalist in Dubai.

Daria Kasatkina came from a set down to beat Marta Kostyuk on Day 1 of the Berlin Open

© Inaki Esnaola/Getty Images

Another Russian, Daria Kasatkina, rallied for a 4-6 7-6(6) 6-3 win over Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk after coming within 2 points of defeat in the second set tiebreak, but escaped to win the 2 hour 38 minute battle.

The result was Kasatkina’s 4th straight win over Kostyuk in 6 meetings.

Meanwhile, Katerina Siniakova, a qualifier from the Czech Republic, defeated Emma Navarro, 6-4 6-3, levelling her head-to-head with the American at 2 wins apiece.

Significantly, Siniakova has won both of their grass-court meetings, having also triumphed in the 2023 Bad Homburg semifinals.

Turkish qualifier Zeynep Sonmez came from a set down to defeat lucky loser Arantxa Rus, 3-6 6-2 6-1, the 22-year-old’s first win in a WTA main draw.

Eight of the world’s Top 10 are competing in Berlin, with only top-ranked Iga Swiatek and World No 7 Jasmine Paolini, the finalists in Paris, absent.

On Wednesday, Chinese 6th seed Zheng Qinwen begins against 4-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka from Japan, while Greek 7th seed Maria Sakkari plays 2-time majors champion Victoria Azarenka from Belarus and Tunisian 8th seed Jabeur meets Wang Xinyu, also from China.

The Steffi Graf Stadion at the Rott Weiss Tennis Club in Berlin

© Inaki Esnaola/Getty Images



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