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Andreescu advances, Pliskova topples Kanepi in early Berlin matches

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Canada’s Bianca Andreescu won a match at the bett1open in Berlin for the first time in her career, beating Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the second round of the WTA 500 on grass. court event.

Andreescu had won just one tour-level grass-court match in her career before Monday’s first round, but the 2019 US Open champion was able to double her grass-court win total with a 2-hour triumph and 16 minutes. about Siniakova.

The pair combined for 13 breaks on the day, with two backhanded sets leading to the decider. Siniakova captured the first break of the third set after a five-deuce game to lead 2-0, but Andreescu struck back as the pair settled into a closely contested clash.

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After a brief rain delay during game four, the pair traded breaks once more before Andreescu took the lead for good, breaking for 5-4 behind a blistering forehand service return. Andreescu knocked out two consecutive game-winning volleys to successfully take the match out in the next game.

More from Berlin: Jabeur hungry for success on grass

Another Czech awaits Andreescu in the second round, when she takes on former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova. Andreescu and Pliskova have split their two previous meetings, both on hard court in 2019.

Czech return: Pliskova began her grass-court season with a win, as the No.4-seeded Czech Republic defeated dangerous floater Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-0.

Pliskova, last year’s Wimbledon runner-up, improved to 4-0 against Kanepi with the 1 hour, 43 minute victory, as she tries to turn around a difficult season. Pliskova missed the first two months of this year with a hand injury and she is just 7-8 since she returned in March.

Meanwhile, Kanepi, the oldest player on the field at 37, is known to be a specialist in surprises. The former World No.15 has racked up 15 Top 10 wins in her career, including at both Grand Slam events this year.

In fact, the party was on alert for discomfort from the beginning. Kanepi went 0-for-7 on break points in the first set, but still took a set lead in the tie break by forcing an error from Pliskova with a big return on her first set point.

Highlights: Pliskova der. kanepi

However, after that, Pliskova’s play fell apart while Kanepi’s winning total sank. With strong passing and excellent serving at his disposal, Pliskova hit 11 winners to just five unforced errors as she swept the second set without losing a game.

It was more of the same for Pliskova in the final set, and she won the last 12 games in a row to win two straight bagels. Pliskova finished the match with 44 winners, including 17 aces, and never dropped serve all day.

Of course it feels good to be back on the grass. I feel a bit confident, although I didn’t have many matches this year, and I wasn’t really playing my best tennis, but I feel like grass can be my surface.

-Karolina Pliskova

More from day 1: Recent Roland Garros semi-finalist Daria Kasatkina also started the week with a win, as the No.6 seed defeated Anhelina Kalinina 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in 2 hours and 17 minutes. Kasatkina has won 10 of her last 12 matches.

Highlights: Saville def. Techmann

Qualifier Daria Saville also advanced on Monday, beating Jil Teichmann 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-2. Former World No.20 Saville has been hampered by injuries in recent years, but she has reached two quarter-finals this year and is poised to return to the Top 100.

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