New Haven: Defending champion Petra Kvitova recovered from a set and a break down to beat Annika Beck 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the New Haven Open, here, on Tuesday.
The third-seeded Kvitova dropped the first set and was broken in the first game of the second before staging the comeback in a match that was delayed due to rain on Monday.
“I wasn’t great, for sure,” the 2011 Wimbledon champion said. “I wasn’t feeling very well. I wasn’t positive during the game and then I had to fight and try to come back in the match.”
Beck entered the draw as a lucky loser when Poland’s Urszula Radwanska withdrew Monday.
While Kvitova narrowly survived, second seed Angelique Kerber lost her second-round match 2-6, 4-6 to Russia’s Elena Vesnina. Seventh-seeded Sabine Lisicki fell 5-7, 3-6 to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final match of the night.
Vesnina, a 2009 finalist, won the first three games to take control of the first set and converted six service breaks in the match. Kerber hit a forehand just wide on match point and threw her racket in disgust. The call was upheld after a challenge.
Vesnina, seeking her third singles title this year, said the win over a top-10 opponent bodes well for her heading into next week’s US Open.
“Maybe it’s just my time to play good,” she said.
Kerber, who lost in the third round in Cincinnati and the second round in Toronto, had hoped to get in a couple more hard-court matches to improve her game before the Open.
“It’s, of course, not easy to lose a match like this when you are not feeling so good and you couldn’t find your rhythm,” she said. “Next week is a big tournament, but I will try to go on the court and work and try to improve my game more. I will try to bring my rhythm back.”
Vesnina will face Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic in the quarter finals. Zakopalova upset eighth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round before beating 19-year-old Monica Puig 6-4, 6-1 on Tuesday.
Her recent strong play earned her the 32nd and final seed next week at Flushing Meadows.