Errani, Kuznetsova advance in Stuttgart
Eighth seed Sara Errani and former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova posted straight-set wins yesterday to reach the second round of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
The Italian Errani fought from a double break down at 3-0 in the second set to beat Czech Klara Koukalova 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour 17 minutes Kuznetsova ousted 228th-ranked Italian qualifier Giora Barbieri 6-2, 6-3 in 65 minutes on the first match point.
The Russian, who won 2009 in Stuttgart, is a former top five player currently ranked 29th.
Kuznetsova next meets second seed Simona Halep of Romania while Errani, a 2013 French Open semifinalist and four-time doubles grand slam winner, plays Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.
In other early action at the indoor clay event, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro defeated Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 6-4 to set up a meeting with German fourth seed Angelique Kerber.
The four top seeds, led by Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska and also including Czech Petra Kvitova have first-round byes.
Set to play later yesterday was two-time reigning champion Maria Sharapova of Russia, the sixth seed, against Czech Lucie Safarova.
Sara Errani of Italy returns a shot to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia during the Sony Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 22, 2014 in Key Biscayne, Florida.