In the first match on centre court at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open on Wednesday afternoon, Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia took on Arantxa Rus of The Netherlands. The 29 year old Slovak, a veteran of thirteen years on the WTA tour, is now ranked 38, while Rus is twenty one years old and is ranked 69. Rus came out fighting and took the first set 6-3 but the experienced Hantchova fought back to take the second set 6-4 and rolled through the decider 6-1. She will meet the Belgian, Kirsten Flipkens, in the next round.
In another first round match, Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, well known for her victory dances on court, met the qualifier from Spain and new name on the tour, Garbine Muguruza. Petkovic, just into her long awaited return to the tour from a serious back injury, started slowly against her opponent, letting her take the first set 6-4, but the German settled to take the next two easily, 6-2 6-1. She will next meet up with Jelena Jankovic who progressed to the third round after Peng Shuai had to retire at 0-3 down.
The qualifier from Russia Vera Dushevina, ranked 12 in her country and 121 on the WTA rankings list, played Ksenia Pervak, Kazakhstan’s number 4 who is ranked at number 106. With these two players so close in the rankings, a close match was anticipated and this is exactly what happened, as Pervak took the first set 6-3 despite seven double faults. The second set went all the way to a tie breaker, which Pervak took 7-2 to seal her win in just less than two hours of hard fought tennis. She will next take on the Roumanian, Sorana Cirstea, who had an easy win over Petra Martic of Croatia in her first round match.