Wednesday at the 2015 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix was all about the local favorites as Sabine Lisicki, Angelique Kerber & Julia Görges all played their first-round matches, trying to join fellow German Carina Witthöft in the second round of the tournament.
Lisicki & Görges started their day with a joint practice session that Sabine Lisicki completed in her usual upbeat fashion. Her trademark smile would turn into a big frown just hours later though, as she suffered a massive loss against Zarina Diyas, being unable to win just a single game in front of her home crowd.
The German Wimbledon finalist looked increasingly desperate as the match went on, being unable to string enough points for a single game together. The usually very supportive Stuttgart crowd grew increasingly frustrated with Lisicki and isolated boos could be heard in the arena. Lisicki later attributed her performance to having a complete blackout on court.
Next up was Angelique Kerber who faced off with Alexa Glatch. The American made the main draw in a last-minute fashion, when Yulia Beygelzimer withdrew from the tournament, fixing what was a very unfortunate injustice this week, since Glatch had been the only qualifying finalist to not receive a lucky loser spot in the main draw before Wednesday came around. Despite Glatch trying her hardest to make her last-minute main draw appearance count, Kerber won the match in straight sets, setting herself up for a second-round clash with Maria Sharapova on Thursday.
Julia Görges was the final local hero to enter the big stage, meeting with WTA rising star Belinda Bencic. Their last meeting at the Australian Open earlier this year had been a swift affair in favor of the German, but Wednesday’s match in Stuttgart became a whole different story. After taking the first set, Görges was forced into a decider, earning herself three match points, all of which were fought off by Bencic in an impressive fashion. Keeping her nerves under control, the promising Swiss youngster decided the match in her favor after 2:40 hours of highly exciting tennis.
Görges & Lisicki were joined by Agnieszka Radwanska, who also failed to win her opening match against Sara Errani. Also out of the tournament is Garbine Muguruza, following her second-round loss against Simona Halep.
Thursday in Stuttgart will be all about the top seeds as Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova & Caroline Wozniacki are due to start their quest for the 2015 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title!