STUTTGART, Germany — Milos Raonic hit 31 aces to beat Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round of the Stuttgart Open on Tuesday.
The sixth-seeded Raonic, who lost last year’s final to Roger Federer, next faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the grass-court tournament.
Fellow Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime also won, beating Ernests Gulbis 7-5, 6-3, but Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 6-4. Struff also beat the 20-year-old Canadian in the first round of the French Open.
Fifth-seeded Gael Monfils defeated American Steve Johnson 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (6).
Denis Kudla had no difficulties against Croatian qualifier Viktor Galovic, winning 6-3, 6-2.
Also, Dustin Brown set up an all-German meeting with top-seeded Alexander Zverev after beating John Millman 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Matteo Berrettini, Lucas Pouille, Marton Fucsovics and Gilles Simon also advanced.
The Stuttgart Open made the switch from clay to grass in 2015.
PRAGUE — Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says she will decide later this week if she’s ready to play at the All England Club.
The 29-year-old Czech player injured her left forearm during training in Paris ahead of the French Open and has not played since. The injury prevented her from defending her title at the Birmingham Classic this week.
Kvitova wrote on Twitter that she was “Happy to tell you that my arm is improving and I just hit some balls on the beautiful grass for the first time.
The sixth-ranked Kvitova, who won the Wimbledon title in 2011 and 2014, reached the Australian Open final and won tournaments in Sydney and Stuttgart this year.
LONDON — American tennis player Anna Tatishvili has appealed her fine of about $50,000 for what the Grand Slam Board ruled was a violation of its first-round performance rule at the French Open last month.
Tatishvili was docked a first-round loser’s full prize money after losing to 29th-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-0, 6-1 in Paris.
It was Tatishvili’s first competition since October 2017 because of an ankle injury. She has been ranked as high as 50th and is currently outside the top 700 because of her long absence from the tour, but used a special ranking to make the field at Roland Garros.
The Grand Slam Board introduced the performance rule before the 2018 season. The aim is to deter players who enter tournaments while injured from retiring during first-round matches to collect prize money. Players can be fined their first-round check if they do not “perform to a professional standard.”
Injured players who withdraw before the tournament – allowing someone who lost in qualifying to get into the draw – receive half the first-round prize money.