Wins for Kiki Bertens, Anastasija Sevastova and Daria Kasatkina in Stuttgart

Kiki Bertens serving

Seeds Kiki Bertens and Anastasija Sevastova had their work cut out for them at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix as Daria Kasatkina also advanced.

A lot is once again expected of Bertens on clay this season after a 15-5 record on the red dirt last year, and the sixth seed produced a solid effort as saw off the challenge of qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam.

The Dutchwoman powered to a 7-5, 6-2 victory to set up a clash against either Dubai champion Belinda Bencic or Mandy Minella.

World No 13 and seventh seed Sevastova came out on top of the all-Latvian clash as she beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 4-6, 6-0.

“I don’t think it was a nice feeling for us both,” Sevastova said after the match. “At the end of the day, you just concentrate on yourself. It’s Stuttgart, it’s the first match, you play like it’s any other match – you try. It’s hard, but that’s the thing that I did.”

Following her excellent 2018, Russian Kasatkina has gone off the boil this campaign, but she has made a good start in Stuttgart as she claimed a 7-6 (10-8), 7-5 win over Elise Mertens.

Andrea Petkovic earned herself a second-round clash against fellow German and fifth seed Angelique Kerber with a with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo while Laura Siegemund beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-2 and qualifier Greetje Minnen beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4 to set up a match with second seed Petra Kvitova.

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