In the second last match on centre court at the Generali Ladies Linz tournament, after two qualifying singles and two main draw doubles matches, the twenty two year old German Mona Barthel, ranked at 37, took on the twenty one year old Dutch player Kiki Bertens, ranked at number 60. It was the Dutch who booked herself a second round ticket after a 7-6 (3) 1-6 6-1 victory.
In the first set these two went toe to toe, all the way to a tie breaker, which Bertens won 7-3, but in the second set Barthel came out fighting, showing her fine ground strokes, serving much better and converting all the break points offered to her; and she took the set 6-1. The third set was a reversal of the second set, as Bertens tightened up her game to take the set by the same margin – 6-1. She will next meet the winner of the match between Dominika Cibulkova and the lucky loser, Irina-Camelia Begu.
The final encounter on centre court on Day One was between the 18th ranked and no.4 seed, twenty five year old Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic and twenty eight year old Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden, ranked at 47. Arvidsson managed to pull off a similar upset as Bertens, winning 3-6 6-2 7-5.
Safarova has a great leftie serve and stunning ground strokes but is somewhat erratic, while the Swede has had some great wins this season with her hard hitting game. After a somewhat shaky start, Safarova took the first set 6-3, but Arvidsson came back at her to take the second set by six game to two and then went on to take the final set in a much closer battle, 7-5. Arvidsson will play Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic in round two.
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