Linz Open: No. 1 seed Maria Sakkari enters 2R; no. 2 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova upset

Anastasia Potapova, Jule Niemeier and Dalma Galfi were among the winners as well

by Abbey Johnson
Linz Open: No. 1 seed Maria Sakkari enters 2R; no. 2 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova upset

Top seed Maria Sakkari won her first-round match at the Linz Open on Tuesday. The Greek defeated Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-1, 7-6(6) in an hour and 40 minutes. This is the first tournament Sakkari’s playing since losing in the third round of the Australian Open.

The world no. 7 won 77% of her first-serve points, hit three aces and converted three of the four break points on Parrizas Diaz’s serve. She also saved two of the three break points she faced. In the second round, Sakkari will play lucky loser Varvara Gracheva.

Gracheva defeated Anna Blinkova 7-5, 7-5 in their first-round match.

Linz Open: Rebeka Masarova stops Ekaterina Alexandrova

Meanwhile, second seed Ekaterina Alexandrova crashed out in the first round. Spain’s Rebeka Masarova overcame Alexandrova in a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(6) comeback win after two hours and 34 minutes.

In the first set, Alexandrova saved all three break points she faced while converting one break point on the Spaniard’s serve. In the second set, while Masarova’s percentage of first-serve points won climbed to 93% to 71% in the first set, Alexandrova’s dropped to 46% from 66%.

Masarova saved the lone break point she faced in the set while breaking her opponent’s serve twice. The final set had a break each before the outcome of the match was decided in the tie-break. Next up for Masarova will be Marketa Vondrousova.

The Czech won against Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova 6-3, 6-3. Apart from Alexandrova, seventh seed Bernarda Pera was the other seed who lost in the first round. Hungarian qualifier Dalma Galfi took out the American 6-2, 7-6(5) in 80 minutes.

Next, Galfi will play German wildcard Eva Lys. Lys won against lucky loser Kamilla Rakhimova 6-4, 7-6(5). Earlier on Monday, in the lone first-round match played at the Linz Open, Jule Niemeier beat Sofia Kenin. The German needed two hours and 12 minutes to overturn the loss of the first set and take a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win for herself.

Niemeier will play eighth seed Anastasia Potapova in the second round. Potapova scored a similar comeback win for herself against Lucia Bronzetti, winning by the same score-line.

Maria Sakkari Ekaterina Alexandrova Anastasia Potapova