Poland’s Magda Linette upset Elise Mertens, the No 3 seed from Belgium,3-6 6-2 2-6, in the 1st-round of the Livesport Prague Open 2022 after a 2 hour 4 minute battle, and Chinese qualifier Wang Qiang got past Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson, 1-6 6-3 7-6(4), on Monday.
It was Linette’s first success against the Belgian in 4 meetings, and she will next face Ukraine’s Daria Snigur or Viktoriya Tomova from Bulgaria in the 2nd-round of the outdoor hard court tournament in the Czech Republic.
Mertens struggled with her service game, posting 7 double faults as Linette converted 5 of 13 break points despite losing her serve 4 times.
Linette won 62% points on return on Mertens’ second serve, while winning 61% points on her second serve and taking 56% of first-serve points to the Belgian’s’ 64%.
Wang came from a set down to oust Peterson, needing 2 hours and 10 minutes to advance, while her compatriot Zhu Lin was an easy winner over Vitalia Diatchenko, taking an hour and 10 minutes to post a 6-1 6-1 result.
The 100th-ranked 28-year-old saved all 5 break points she faced while securing 5 breaks for herself on Diatchenko’s serve.
Next up for Zhu will be either fellow Chinese player, Xinyu Wang or seventh seed, Anastasia Potapova.
The 6th-seeded Alison Van Uytvanck retired from her match against Dalila Jakupovic from Slovenia, who qualified for the main draw and was leading the Belgian 5-2 in the first set when she pulled out due to injury.
For a place in the quarter-finals, Jakupovic will take Wang.
8th-seeded Czech Marie Bouzkova, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals, beat Austria’s Sinja Kraus 6-2 7-6(2) after the lucky loser, pulled off a return that spun back on to her side of the court.
Bouzkova could play either Swiss Ylena In-Albon or fellow Czech in qualifier Dominika Salkova.
France’s Chloe Paquet posted the other come-back win of the day over another Czech, Tereza Martincova, 2-6 6-4 6-3, and now awaits either qualifier Oksana Selekhmetova or Romanian 4th seed, Sorana Cirstea.
Another lucky loser, Nao Hibino from Japan, won her opener against Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-2 6-2, and will next play either Anna Blinkova or 2nd seed, Barbora Krejcikova.
World No 2 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia is the top seed for the WTA 250 hard-court event, and will face Ekaterine Gorgodze in the 1st-round on Tuesday.