WTA Generali Ladies: Angelique Kerber overcomes one Romanian - now faces another
Last Updated: 09/10/13 10:26pm
Angelique Kerber: The German is closing in on a place at the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul
Top seed Angelique Kerber rallied from a nightmare opening set to see off Monica Niculescu 0-6 6-1 6-2 in the first round of the WTA Generali Ladies.
The world no 10 from Germany looked seriously out of sorts in the early going in Linz, taking just five points on her own serve during a first set that lasted a mere 22 minutes.
However Kerber managed to settle down after claiming a break of serve right at the start of the second set, and from then on it proved to be plain sailing.
She dropped just a further three games to set up a clash with another Romanian, Alexandra Cadantu, who beat Melanie Klaffner of Austria 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.
"I just wasn't there in the first set. I was too nervous." Kerber said. "I am happy that I managed to turn the match around."
Kerber needs to reach the last four of the tournament in Austria to secure a berth in the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul.
"I try not to think about that," she added. "I want to focus on my next match and have fun on the court without added pressure."
In other first-round action, Karin Knapp of Italy upset eight seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-2 7-6 (8/6)
Ana Ivanovic, meanwhile, is already through to the quarter-finals after seeing off Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-3 7-5.
The two-time former champion was aided by nine double faults from her opponent in a match between two former French Open winners.
Seeded duo Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain and Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium also advanced to the last eight, recording respective straight sets victories over Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and Italian Camila Giorgi.