Elena Rybakina made a winning start at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Tuesday. The sixth seed from Kazakhstan defeated local wildcard Jule Niemeier 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 30 minutes. Rybakina hit nine aces to the German’s two and had just the one double fault to the latter’s five.
Both players won 55% of their second-serve points but Rybakina edged Niemeier when it came to winning first-serve points. Rybakina lost only nine of the 41 points played on her first serve while Niemeier won 17 of the 25 points played on her first serve.
Rybakina saved five of the six break points while converting three of five break points that came her way on Niemeier’s serve. On Thursday, Rybakina will play Beatriz Haddad Maia for a chance to reach the quarter-finals.
Former world no. 1 Karolina Pliskova also claimed a first-round win in Stuttgart. The Czech upset eighth seed Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 11 minutes. Pliskova saved the only break point she faced while converting four break points on the Greek’s serve.
Next up for her will be Donna Vekic. Lastly, fifth seed Coco Gauff also came through to the second round. The American beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(3). Gauff needed two hours and 45 minutes to get the win and will next play Anastasia Potapova for a chance to make it to the quarters.
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix: Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur impress
Meanwhile, in their second-round match, third seed Ons Jabeur claimed a hard-won win over Jelena Ostapenko. Jabeur came from a set down to oust the Latvian who’d looked to be dangerous in her opening-round clash against Emma Raducanu on Monday.
Jabeur needed two hours and three minutes to win 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. This is the second year in a row that the Tunisian’s made it this far in this WTA 500 event. In 2022, Jabeur lost to Paula Badosa. This year, wanting to reach the semi-finals for the first time, the 28-year-old will play the winner of the match between Rybakina and Haddad Maia in the quarter-finals.
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka notched up a third consecutive quarter-final at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix after winning her round-of-16 clash against Barbora Krejcikova. Sabalenka took just 75 minutes to wrap up a 6-2, 6-3 win over the Czech, her third this year in the four matches they’ve played.
Sabalenka, who’s a twice finalist in the tournament, will play either Paula Badosa or Cristina Bucsa next. Photo Credit: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Twitter