Stephens, Ivanovic win openers in Austria

3:39 PM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
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Linz, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - Second seed Sloane Stephens and two-time champion Ana Ivanovic were a pair of easy opening-round victors Tuesday at the Generali Ladies Linz tennis tournament.

The American Stephens blew past Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-1, while the former world No. 1 Serbian star Ivanovic handled Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-2, 6-4 on the indoor hardcourts at TipsArena Linz.

The third-seeded Ivanovic popped 10 aces and broke the 2009 Linz champion Wickmayer five times.

"The result looked easier than it really was," Ivanovic said. "She made me work hard, especially in the second set."

Up next for the 20-year-old Stephens will be former top-10 German Andrea Petkovic on Thursday, while Ivanovic, who titled here in 2008 and 2010, will face fellow former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone on Wednesday.

In other first-round action involving seeds, No. 4 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain spanked Czech qualifier Kristyna Pliskova 6-2, 6-3; No. 5 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium overcame Croat Donna Vekic 2-6, 6-2, 6-2; Austrian wild card Patricia Mayr-Achleitner upended No. 6 Sorana Cirstea of Romania 1-6, 6-3, 6-4; and No. 7 2011 Linz runner-up Dominika Cibulkova of the Slovak Republic came from behind to best German Annika Beck 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

The aforementioned Petkovic took out Austrian crowd favorite Yvonne Meusburger 6-3, 7-5, while additional Day 2 wins came for Italian Camila Giorgi, Ukrainian qualifier Maryna Zanevska, and Polish qualifier Katarzyna Piter. Giorgi took down last year's Linz runner-up, Julia Goerges, 6-2, 6-3.

The first round will conclude here on Wednesday, including a match for top- seeded Angelique Kerber, as the German left-hander will take on Romanian Monica Niculescu.

This week's winner will claim $43,700.

The Sports Network

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