Tatjana Maria beats Swiss qualifier Ylena In-Albon in a tennis thriller on her return to Stuttgart.
For the Porsche Team Germany player, it is her first ever main draw win at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
The former world No. 2 Paula Badosa upsets first seeded player when defeating Daria Kasatkina.
On Wednesday, the Porsche Arena crowd can look forward to five Top 10 players.
The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix took place for a period of 11 years without Tatjana Maria. On Tuesday, the local hero marked her return to her home tournament with a win. The spectators in the Porsche Arena on Wednesday can look forward to the German No. 1 Jule Niemeier and numerous Top 10 players.
Porsche Team Germany’s Tatjana Maria sparked jubilant scenes amongst the Porsche Arena crowd. The 2022 Wimbledon semifinalist, who is playing at her home tournament for the first time in 11 years, defeated the Swiss qualifier Ylena In-Albon 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in a tennis thriller lasting two hours 45 minutes. For the 35-year-old mother of two daughters who last week claimed her third career title in Bogota, it was the first main draw win at her fourth attempt at her home tournament.
“The duel shows just how high-class the field here is. I’m now all the happier to have finally posted my first win in Stuttgart,” said the exhausted Tatjana Maria, who will face the world No. 5 Caroline Garcia from France in the last 16 on Thursday. “Though I’m very tired, I’ll first of all try to savour the win. I’ll then begin my preparations tomorrow for my next match against Caroline. She’s in super form and plays very aggressively. I have to be ready right from the word go.”
The first seeded player exited right away in the afternoon as the former world No. 2 Paula Badosa gave the No. 7 seeded Daria Kasatkina absolutely no chance when beating her 6-1, 6-1. Jelena Ostapenko also had little trouble in her first round match against the Porsche Brand Ambassador Emma Raducanu (Great Britain). The 2017 French Open champion was a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 winner. “It’s never easy playing Emma. But I was so fearless out on court today, and was focussed from the first to the last minute. Things can continue the same way,” said the Latvian. The Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia advanced to the last 16 after her Italian opponent was forced to retire with an injury. Barbora Krejcikova from the Czech Republic has also reached the same stage. The 2021 French Open champion overcame Liudmila Samsonova in two straight sets 6-2, 6-0.
Other top stars starting their tournament campaigns on Wednesday
Wednesday will be the day of the top players at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Straight away in the first Centre Court match starting at mid-day, the Czech Karolina Pliskova, the 2018 Stuttgart winner, and the No. 8 seed Maria Sakkari from Greece will go head-to-head. Immediately afterwards, the American shooting star Coco Gauff will face Veronika Kudermetova. “We had a great week in Delray Beach in the Billie Jean King Cup and I was ready to get over here to Europe,” said the youngest main draw player in the tournament. “The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is a week to see what I have to work on in the clay court season. Looking back on where I was last year to this, I definitely feel like I’m a much better player. When I step out on the court, the confidence is now much higher. Now let’s see how my first match goes.”
Things will also come to the crunch on Wednesday for Jule Niemeier. The Porsche Team Germany player’s first round match against the Kazakh Elena Rybakina, who this year was the Australian Open runner-up and the winner of the Masters in Indian Wells, is scheduled for not before 5 o’clock. “When you come to Stuttgart, you never know beforehand what to expect. There are no easy opponents here, the level is basically incredibly high,” said the German No. 1. “I’ll simply try to play my own game and hope things will turn out positively in the end.”
Aryna Sabalenka will begin her tournament campaign at a time not before 6.30 pm. The Stuttgart runner-up in the past two years has been in impressive form all through the season to date, something highlighted by the title she won at the Australian Open. In her last 16 match, the world No. 2 will meet Barbora Krejcikova “I’m super happy to be back here. The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is one of my favourite tournaments,” she said. “I’ve been really successful here in the past. Hopefully I can do a little bit better this year and win the title. I’ve been practicing here for a couple of days and have a good feeling.”
In the last match of the day, the Stuttgart tennis fans can look forward to the world No. 4 Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian, who is returning to her old form, will be up against Jelena Ostapenko. “The last few tournaments have shown me that I’m a player that can come back from injuries. Now I’ll play from match to match and try to get back to my old level,” she said. “I love the court at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and would like to enjoy the time here.
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