Knapp and Stosur made to battle in Austria


Karin Knapp was made to battle for her second-round place at the Nurnberger Gastein Ladies on Tuesday, overcoming a spirited display from Tamira Paszek.

The Italian only dropped five points in the opening set as she appeared to be cruising against her opponent – ranked 242 in the world – but Knapp was unable to complete a straight-sets win.

Paszek came fighting back and took the second in a tie-break, before wasting three match points in the 10th game of the decider.

Having saved those, Knapp regained her composure and eventually prevailed 6-0 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6), and will now face the winner of Johanna Larsson and Stefanie Voegele's first-round match.

Sam Stosur also encountered problems in her opening match of the WTA International clay-court event, the Australian broken at the start of the opening two sets by Anastasija Sevastova.

But the second seed rallied to take the first and, after Sevastova levelled, Stosur raced through the decider in 29 minutes to record a 6-4 4-6 6-1 triumph.

Fifth seed Lucie Hradecka had no such problems as she sailed into round two with a 6-4 6-1 win over Lara Arruabarrena, the five-time doubles champion at this event setting up a clash with Polona Hercog – who beat Timea Babos 6-4 6-2.

Julia Goerges – the sixth seed – is also through after her 6-3 6-4 win over Risa Ozaki, but it was not so easy for Carina Witthoeft, the fourth seed unable to stop Denisa Allertova coming from a set down to seal a 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 triumph.

The Czech's next opponent is Annika Beck, who was handed her place in the second round when Teliana Pereira was forced to retire with a knee injury at 5-2 down in the first set.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Andreea Mitu, Daria Kasatkina, Richel Hogenkamp and Maryna Zanevska – with the latter a potential second round opponent for top seed Sara Errani.