Denmark’s former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki exited the WTA Stuttgart Open on Wednesday, losing 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 to Spanish clay court specialist Carla Suarez in their first round clash.
Wozniacki, seeded seven and a finalist in the tournament in 2011, had only herself to blame after letting a 3-0 lead in the first set slip away to lose in a hard fought tie-break.
However, Suarez, ranked 27th in the world to Wozniacki’s 10th, eased through the second set against her demoralized opponent to seal victory on her first match point.
Fifth-seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic later enjoyed a 7-5, 6-7(0/7), 6-3 win over wild card Annika Beck, but only after the German put up a tough fight in the second set.
“I still don’t feel really good on clay, but it’s getting better,” Kvitova said.
“It’s hard to keep the concentration high after the Fed Cup, but it’s always fun to play with the girls,” added Kvitova, who was part of the Czech team whose hopes of defending their Fed Cup title disappeared on Monday when they lost to Italy in the semi-finals.
Australia’s Samantha Stosur, a finalist here in 2010, crashed out in the first round, losing in straight sets to Jelena Jankovic. The Serbian former world No. 1 won 6-4, 6-4.
GRAND PRIX SAR
AP, MARRAKECH, Morocco
Frenchwoman Alize Cornet won nine games in a row to beat Karin Knapp of Italy 1-6, 7-5, 6-0 and Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa routed Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-2, 6-1 as they both advanced to the quarter-finals of the Grand Prix SAR on Wednesday.
Cornet bounced back from a set and 5-4 down and next plays either former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy or Romania’s Simona Halep.
Scheepers broke her Spanish opponent’s serve seven times and next meets either seventh-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France or Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
Putintseva reached the second round after beating Mathilde Johansson of France 6-3, 6-4.
In other matches, Schiavone labored past Croatia’s Petra Martic 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 and Olga Puchkova of Russia needed more than three hours to beat Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5.
Flavia Pennetta also reached the second round after beating Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-1, 7-6 (7/2).