NÜRNBERG, May 23, 2018
Top seed Sloane Stephens falls in the opening round of the Nürnberger Versicherungscup. The reigning US-Open champion, who entered the WTA Internationa Event with a wild card, lost to Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 7-5, 4-6, 6-7(3) in a battle over two days.
Their match was locked at a set apiece and tied 3-3 in the third when it was suspended due to darkness on Tuesday. Both players lost their serve twice in the final set and the encounter went into the tie-break, in which Putintseva eventually prevailed 7-3. The match lasted exactly three hours of play.
“I came here to play some matches, but that did not happen. Life goes on. I enjoyed the stay in Nuremberg and I will gladly remember it,” Stephens commented. Putintseva will next take on US-American Alison Riske.
Sorana Cirstea fought past Madison Bringle from the United States 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 44 minutes to reach the quarterfinals.
Kirsten Flipkens from Belgium beat Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska 7-6, 6-2 to either face two-time defending champion Kiki Bertens or Mona Barthel of Germany next. Fanny Stollar of Hungary, who battled through the qualifying defeated Briton Heather Watson 6-3, 6-3 to get into the stage of the final eight.