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Tennis - 25. April 2013.

Julia Görges follows Sabine Lisicki into last 16

Stuttgart. Another German has reached the last 16 of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix as Julia Görges, the Porsche Team Germany player, beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 2-1 in her opening match. The Belgian was forced to retire with stomach problems. On the day before, Sabine Lisicki progressed to the round of the last sixteen where she joined Angelique Kerber, who, as the No. 3 seed had a first round bye. But the long-established Stuttgart tournament is over for Annika Beck from Porsche Talent Team Germany: aged 19, the youngest main draw player was defeated in a tight match 7-5, 6-7 (0), 6-3 by the Czech Top 10 player Petra Kvitova. The 2011 Wimbledon champion is Julia Görges’ next opponent on Thursday.

Julia Görges was not overly happy after her match. “One doesn’t want to win in that fashion,” said the winner of the 2011 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. And she herself has not been feeling fully fit in the past few weeks. Feeling worn out when waking in the morning, she was given a check-up as she was suspected as having glandular fever. Luckily enough it was negative. Nevertheless she took a break from competition and also pulled out of the Fed Cup play-off tie against Serbia in the Porsche Arena. “I only started hitting balls again as there was no way I wanted to miss the Porsche Tennis Grand,” she said. “After all I enjoyed my biggest career success in the Porsche Arena. Now I’m obviously hoping I can play a few more matches in this great arena.”

Annika Beck missed out on a place in the second round of the world class tournament with seven Top 10 players in the draw. The member of the Porsche Talent Team Germany made Petra Kvitova go all the way and the world No. 8, who is seeded No. 5 in Stuttgart, had to dig deep in the match that lasted two hours 26 minutes. “I knew I had to play my best tennis if she wasn’t to give me a thrashing,” said the WTA world-ranked No. 60 after her first ever match against a Top 10 player. The German, who was given a main draw wild card, certainly was not given a thrashing. Quite the contrary: she had her chances and impressed the crowd with the coolness with which she wrapped up the second set tie-break without losing a point. “I now hope I can play here again in 2014,” she said. “When the spectators cheer you on like they did today then it’s even more fun.”

And Mona Barthel is another player that has to hope for better things next year. The 22-year-old Porsche Team Germany player lost 6-4, 6-1 against the Czech Lucie Safarova in only 53 minutes. It was a match between two players that were in Fed Cup action over the weekend and who are near neighbours in the world rankings – Lucie Safarova is No. 25 and Mona Barthel is three places behind. But in the Porsche Arena the difference between the two was far greater that the rankings would have one imagine. The 26-yer-old from Brno needed just one break in the first set to keep the German at bay but then in the second, the hard court specialist stepped on the gas – and was full of understanding for Mona Barthel after their first ever meeting: “For her, the pressure at her home tournament is far greater than for me.” Mona Barthel said: “I definitely didn’t play my best tennis today. The Fed Cup weekend with two three-setters was obviously physically exhausting. Emotionally too. After we had finally won and the tension had disappeared, I felt so totally tired mentally. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get in the right frame of mind for today’s match. Nevertheless I had 10 great days here in Stuttgart.”

The opening match of a long day of tennis in the Porsche Arena saw one of the favourites suffer a bitter defeat. Caroline Wozniacki, the world No. 10 from Denmark, quickly went 3-0 up against Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro but then quickly lost her rhythm to lose the first set tie break and in the end the match 7-6 (6), 6-1. Watching on was her boyfriend Rory McIllroy. The world No. 2 golfer from Northern Ireland was taking a break from tournament play and accompanied his girlfriend to Stuttgart where she had lost the 2011 final to Julia Görges. Carla Suarez Navarro, the world No. 23 and currently Spain’s best woman player, will face the world No. 23 Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan), who beat Italian Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-2, in the last 16. Serb Jelena Jankovic, the 2008 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix champion, downed the No. 6 seed Samantha Stosur (Australia) 6-4, 6-4. Next up on Thursday in the race for the prize money totalling 795,000 dollars and the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet is German Sabine Lisicki.

There were also German wins in the doubles on Wednesday: Porsche Team Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic overcame the Russian pair Duo Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina 6-1, 7-6 (2). Also into the next round are Mona Barthel and Sabine Lisicki who beat Jill Craybas/Megan Moulton-Levy 6-1, 6-1. The two Americans came into the draw as lucky losers after Roberta Vinci got injured in her singles and was unable to partner fellow Italian Sara Errani.
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