Petra Kvitova beats Greet Minnen to open the second round of Stuttgart

The first round wrapped up at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and late in the evening Petra Kvitova, the highest seed in action on Wednesday, opened the second round with a comfortable victory over Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen.

The third-seeded Kvitova cruised through the first set against world No.192 Minnen. In the second set, Minnen, coached by her girlfriend Alison Van Uytvanck during the match, was the first to go up a break, but Kvitova immediately broke back to level to 3-3 and then broke her opponent’s serve again in the ninth game of the set, capitalizing on it with a love hold in the following game to win 6-1 6-4 and enter the quarterfinals.

Despite the loss, the 21-year-old Minnen can be satisfied for going all the way through qualifying and earning her first Top 50 victory by beating Dominika Cibulkova in the first round.

Crowd favorite and 2011 champion Julia Goerges appeared to be troubled by a neck injury this week and that took a toll in her first-round encounter with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, as the German retired late into the third set in which she didn’t win a single game. At the press conference, Goerges explained the health issue:

Three of my fingers are numb due to irritated vertebrae. I’ve been struggling with it for 16 days.

Earlier in the day, Victoria Azarenka met a familiar opponent Vera Zvonareva for the first time in eight years, in an entirely different circumstances – the last time they played was in the semifinals of the 2011 WTA Championships when both were Top 8 players, while now they are rebuilding their careers as moms ranked outside of Top 50.

Today, just like in their previous meeting, Azarenka triumphed, despite being drained by a long flight after the Fed Cup tie in Australia. The 7-5 6-4 victory in Stuttgart means that Azarenka is one win away from leveling her head-to-head against Zvonareva to 6-6.

After surviving the first round despite the jetlag, Azarenka’s preparation for the upcoming encounter with fourth seed Karolina Pliskova will be very simple — she’s going to sleep.

One more tennis mom was in action on Wednesday – Mandy Minella, who was outwitted by Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-4 in the first round. Simultaneously, Donna Vekic ousted lucky loser Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-1 7-5.

Eighth seed Anett Kontaveit defeated Caroline Garcia 6-4 6-3 to continue her love affair with the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, the tournament where she claimed her career-first Top 10 victory two years ago and reached her first Premier-level semifinal last year. Hsieh Su-Wei beat Wang Qiang 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round on Wednesday and plays top seed Naomi Osaka tomorrow on Centre Court.

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