LINZ, October 11, 2016
Defending champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova opened her title defence with a winning start into the 26th edition of the WTA Generali Ladies Linz on Monday. The fifth seed from Russia cruised past Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-4, 6-1 in only 58 minutes.
“I’m really happy with the way I played, I was ready for a really tough match because Anastasija has been playing really good tennis this year,” Pavlyuchenkova said after the match. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I was ready from the start and I’m pleased with the way I played.”
Pavlyuchenkova will next face the winner of the encounter between Belgian Kirsten Flipkens and qualifier Mandy Minella of Luxembourg.
The first of four Germans in the singles main draw has already been knocked out, as the tournament’s number eight Laura Siegemund lost to Viktorija Golubic 6-4, 6-2. The 23-year-old from Switzerland converted four of her 14 break point opportunities to secure victory in one hour and 35 minutes. Golubic will next take on either Austrian wild card Barbara Haas or with Julia Görgers another player from Germany.
Sorana Cirstea upset world number 24 Kiki Bertens, winning 6-4, 6-2. The 26-year-old from Romania won 71 per cent of her first service points and broke serve six times to prevail in 68 minutes.
“I’m so happy with the way I started here in Linz,” Cirstea said after her win. “I had a great week of practice at home and I was hoping to carry that into the match, so I’m happy how it went.”
Cirstea is still on her comeback trail from a shoulder injury, which derailed her career and kept her off the courts.
“My life in the past probably two or three years, has been a rollercoaster,” she added. “I started the year at No.250 in the world, playing ITF events, really started from the bottom and I think I deserve to be here. I really wanted to get back here, and I know I can play some good tennis.”
Next up for Cirstea will be the winner of the battle between two qualifiers, when Kristyna Pliskova and Oceane Dodin go head to head on Tuesday. The top seed of the tournament, Garbine Muguruza, spoke to the press and is happy to be back in Europe.