Kvitova breezes into second round

- Agence France-Presse, DOHA

Feb 15, 2018-

Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova breezed through her Qatar Open first-round match against Cagla Buyukakcay on Tuesday, losing just four points out of a total 28 played in the first set.

Kvitova—currently ranked 21 in the world as she continues her return to top-class tennis following a horrific knife attack just over a year ago—won 6-0, 6-3. The first set took just 19 minutes to complete, the whole match less than an a hour. The 27-year-old Czech player said the easy victory may have been down to her late arrival in Doha. “You know, I just came yesterday, and I didn’t really think too much about the tennis,” she said. “So probably that looked like I played very free, even with sun and wind. I didn’t really know where I am.”

Kvitova, who was left with tendon and nerve injuries to her left hand following the attack, said she was happy with her recovery. She plays Pole Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round, in a high-quality field. Nine of the world’s top 10 players are in Qatar, with many just outside the highest rankings also competing.

Among those is world No 11, Britain’s Johanna Konta, who beat American Bernarda Pera 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 on Tuesday, getting instant revenge on the woman who surprisingly knocked her out of last month’s Australian Open. “I definitely was excited to play her again,” said Konta.

Also through was No 4 seed Garbine Muguruza, who won 6-3, 6-4 against China’s Duan Yingying. There were also victories for world No 10 Julia Goerges from Germany, who beat Lucie Safarova 6-1, 7-5, a former Qatar champion. And France’s Caroline Garcia beat Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-0.

Wawrinka’s slump continues

ROTTERDAM: Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka blew a one-set lead to fall 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in a first-round shock at Rotterdam Open on Tuesday.

The Swiss fifth seed slumped to another surprise defeat by an outsider, after losing in the Australian Open second round to Tennys Sandgren and in last week’s Sofia Open semi-finals to Bosnian Mirza Basic. The 32-year-old Wawrinka, the 2015 Rotterdam winner, is struggling to regain form after a pair of knee operations. The Swiss has now lost three matches and won three since returning in January. (AFP)

Published: 15-02-2018 10:04

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