London | WTA Roundup: Kontaveit kicks off in Hamburg as Putintseva gets under way in Palermo

Hamburg, Germany – WTA 250 Hamburg European Open

Top seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia began her Hamburg European Open campaign with a tight win over Romanian Irina Bara on Tuesday, and will face Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson in round 2, while Aleksandra Krunic from Serbia stopped home favourite Sabine Lisicki’s run, and will face Aliaksandra Sasnovich, the 4th seed next.

Another home favourite, Andrea Petkovic, the 8th seed and last year’s runner-up in Hamburg, advanced to the quarter-finals with a straight sets win over Misaki Doi, 6-4 6-3, and awaits the winner of the Kontaveit v Peterson match on Wednesday, as did unseeded Czech Katerina Siniakova, who was an easy 6-1 6-1 winner over Brazil’s Laura Pigossi.

Kontaveit lost her serve 4 times against Bara, and had to to escape the Romanian twice while serving for the set, but she benefitted form 3 inopportune double-faults before prevailing, 6-3 7-6(3).

The 26-year old World No 2, who accepted a wild-card into the main draw here, is making her debut on the clay courts of Hamburg.

The Estonian started the season strongly, but has struggled after contracting the coronavirus in April, and has played just 4 tournaments since then.

After finishing her clay season with 3 consecutive losses, including at the French Open, Kontaveit ended her losing streak at Wimbledon after beating American Bernarda Pera in the 1st-round, and she managed to get through her Wimbledon opener before suffering a surprise loss to German Jule Niemeier in the 2nd-round.

Pera, who won the title in Budapest on Sunday, upset defending champion and 9th-seeded Elena-Gabriela Ruse from Romania, 6-0 6-4, here on Tuesday, and will play Swiss qualifier Joanne Zuger, who took out Niemeier, 6-4 0-6 6-4, in her 1st-round opener, for a place in the quarter-finals.

Elina Avanesyan defeated Carolina Alves for the second time in a few days at the Palermo Ladies Open on Tuesday

Palermo, Italy – WTA 250 Palermo Ladies Open

Top seed Martina Trevisan from Italy pulled out of the Palermo Ladies Open ahead of her opening match because of a back injury, but 2nd-seed Yulia Putintseva advanced after a comfortable win over Australia’s lucky loser Jaimee Fourlis, 6-3 6-1, and the Kazakh will face Diane Parry in the round of 16 after the Frenchwoman beat American Lauren Davis, 7-6(5) 6-2, in an hour and 46 minutes on Tuesday.

Trevisan was replaced by lucky loser Carolina Alves from Brazil, who went on to lose 6-2 5-7 6-1 to Elina Avanesyan in a repeat of their last match in the final round of qualifying.

The Russian will next face Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti, who eliminated Wang Xiyu from China, 6-3 6-3.

It took Putintseva an hour and 15 minutes to get past Fourlis, winning almost 76% of her first-serve points to the Aussie’s 38% and, although she failed to save both break points she faced, the Kazakh secured 6 breaks on her opponent’s serve to come through the clash without any undue problems.

5th seed Caroline Garcia made a forceful come-back against fellow Frenchwoman, Chloe Paquet, in their first-round clash, needing 2 hours and 12 minutes to win, 6-7(2) 6-2 6-2.

Garcia broke Paquet in the 6th game of the first set and, although she was broken right back, she secured a second in the 8th game to go up 5-3 with the chance to serve out the set, but she was broken to love and, with no further breaks, it came down to the tiebreak.

Paquet away ran in the breaker to snatch the set as well as a lead in the match but, across the two ensuing sets, Garcia did not stumble again, and she gave her opponent little chance of making any inroads back into the proceedings.

Looking to make it to the quarters next, Garcia will play Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who won the Italian derby against Sara Errani, 6-1 6-0 in just 57 minutes.

Italians had a mixed day in their home event on Tuesday, with Hungarian Panna Udvardy defeating Lucrezia Stefanini, 6-1 7-6(4), in their opening-round match, while Bronzetti got past Wang.

Udvardy will next play 7th seed Anna Bondar, after the Hungarian beat France’s Clara Burel, 6-4 6-4, while Bronzetti takes on Avanesyan for a chance to reach the quarter-finals.

Lastly, 8th-seeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz and Julie Grabher set up a 2nd-round clash against each other, after the Spaniard beat American Asia Muhammad, 4-6 7-5 7-5, and the Austrian won against China’s Wang Xinyu, 6-3 6-3.

Parrizas Diaz had to come from a set and a break down, then save 2 match points serving at 4-5 in the decider before quelling qualifier Muhammad in just under 3 hours.



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