Hong Kong Open: Sabine Lisicki Survives First Round Scare
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Top seed Sabine Lisicki survived a scare from Monica Niculescu of Romania in the opening round of the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open at the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old German lost the first set and was forced to a tie-break in the second set but came back to win the set at 7-3.
The 2013 Wimbledon finalist continued her momentum to the third and deciding set as she broke Niculescu three times to advance to the next round 3-6 7(7)-6(3) 6-1.
Lisicki will face Grace Min of the United States next.
Third seeded Karolina Pliskova also overcame a three-set match against Polona Hercog of Slovakia 2-6 6-4 6-3 and faces Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in the second round.
Fourth seeded Christina McHale was upset on the other hand by Italian Francesca Schiavone 4-6 7-5 2-6 and sets up a confrontation against veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan who won her match against Swedish Johanna Larson in straight sets 6-3 6-3.
Another upset took place in the tournament as Netherland's Kiki Bertens defeated eighth seeded Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia in straight sets 6-2 7(7)-6(5).
The 22-year-old Bertens' best performance this year was at the French Open where she advanced to the fourth round but lost to 28th seeded Andrea Petkovic in a close three-set match.
Bertens will go up against Australian qualifier Jarmilla Gajdosova in the next round.
Fifth seed Jie Zheng won against Misa Eguchi of Japan 6-1 7(7)-6(5) and have set up an all-Chinese matchup against qualifier Kai-Lin Zhang.
Other seeded players who won their matches in two sets were sixth seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium beat Elizaveta Kulichkova 6-4 6-4 and seventh seed Slovak Jana Cepelova defeated Chanelle Scheepers 6-2 6-1.
Prudential sponsored the return of the event after two decades. The event is officially sanctioned by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).