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Summary Day 6: Angelique Kerberand Sabine Lisicki in the quarterfinals
Two almost record-breaking matches thrilled the spectators in the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart on the sixth day of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix – a short one and an extremely long one. Only 55 minutes were needed by Porsche Team Germany’s Angelique Kerber to she secure herself a place in the quarterfinals on Friday. Top-seeded Maria Sharapova, the defending champion and new Porsche brand ambassador however required 189 hard-fought minutes to win her opening encounter. Also enthralling was Sabine Lisicki’s match. The Porsche Team Germany player progressed to the quarterfinal through a narrow 7-6 (3), 7-5 win against the Serb Jelena Jankovic.
Angelique Kerber started her campaign with a gala performance and breezed to a 6-0, 6-4 win against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The German has already lost twice this year against the Russian who is coached by the Swiss four-time winner of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Martina Hingis. “I was naturally set on beating her this time around,” said the world No. 6. “I felt good and it was fun being out there on court. I made sure I didn’t let her get into the match. The German will meet Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova, the world number 37, In the quarterfinals.
Also into the last eight is the tournament favourite Maria Sharapova. She clenched her fist and acknowledged the spectators relieved after she had narrowly defeated the Czech Lucie Safarova 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-3. Of all things a net ball on her fifth match point ultimately clinched her the match against the world No. 25 after 189 minutes. Maria Sharapova was pushed all the way there was hardly a game that didn’t go to deuce. “It was very, very hard but in the end my greater experience gave me the edge,” said the 26-year-old Russian and praised the crowd in the Porsche Arena which cheered on both players: “The people here love tennis and are so enthusiastic.” Next up in the quarterfinals is the Serb Ana Ivanovic who now has chalked up four wins – including two in the Fed Cup – in Stuttgart after beating Nadia Petrova (Russia) 6-4, 6-3
Julia Görges however left the Centre Court in the Porsche Arena a little disappointed. The sensational 2011 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix winner lost her match in the last 16 against the Czech Petra Kvitova 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2. Though Julia Görges got off to a good start by quickly winning the first set, it was noticeable afterwards that she is still not fully fit after taking a two-week break from game as she was suffering from inexplicable exhaustion. “I am very pleased with the first two sets but I lacked fitness at the end,” said the 24-year-old German after the loss against the 2011 Wimbledon champion and current world No. 8, who is seeded five in Stuttgart. The Czech who reached the semifinals on her debut in Stuttgart last year will now face Na Li in the quarterfinals. Seeded No. 2, the Chinese kicked off her tournament campaign with a highly impressive display when defeating qualifier Mirjna Lucic-Baroni (Croatia) 6-1, 6-2.
After her victory against Jelena Jankovic, the former world No. 1 and Porsche Tennis Grand Prix winner in 2008, Sabine Lisicki will now face the American Bethany Mattek-Sands in the quarterfinals. The qualifier caused an upset by downing the No. 4 seed Sara Errani (Italy) 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 in the final match of the day.
In doubles, Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic, both Porsche Team Germany, have reached the semifinal after beating teammate Anna-Lena Grönefeld and her partner Kveta Peschke (Czech Republic) 7-6 (8), 6-2.