Dubai: The fifth and sixth seeds at the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open, Sara Errani and Petra Kvitova, marched into the second round in contrasting fashion on the second day of the event on Tuesday.
Italian Errani got off to a slow start before registering a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Germany’s Julia Goerges and Kvitova brushed aside qualifier Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-1.
Russia’s Nadia Petrova also advanced to the second round with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over Dominika Cibulkova to set up a second-round clash against Carla Suarez Navarro — a last-minute replacement for top seed Victoria Azarenka, who pulled out with an ankle injury.
Kvitova was pleased with the way she has started her campaign in Dubai. “It doesn’t matter how I can win a match, but I won this one quite quickly,” she said.
“It was a good match for me, and I’m glad that I can still play better than I did in Doha.”
The Czech will now take on former world number one Ana Ivanovic, who was tested late on Monday in her victory over former multiple junior Grand Slam champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
“We have played before already [Ivanovic and her]. I remember the last time we played, in the final of the Fed Cup, and she played very well. I have to be prepared for everything. She’s playing as fast and as aggressively as me, so it will be a very interesting match,” Kvitova said.
Errani was also delighted that her hard work had paid off with a win in the first round against the fast-improving Goerges.
“It was very tough match. She was playing very strong. She was hitting the ball, maybe I have never seen somebody hitting that strongly on the forehand. She was also serving strongly and the court is fast,” Errani said.
“So it was not easy. I just tried to defend, tried to play my game, but it was not easy. So then I just kept going, kept trying to make fewer unforced errors and tried to push the ball when I could. It was tough, but of course I’m very happy to win,” the Italian said.