Bencic, Sakkari win opening matches in Stuttgart

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STUTTGART, Germany — Eighth-seeded Belinda Bencic had to face down a stubborn performance by a 17 year old on tour debut to reach the second round of the Porsche Grand Prix on Monday.

Bencic was broken once in the first set and needed six match points against Nastasja Schunk to finish a 6-4, 6-2 win.

With a ranking of 928, the young German is more used to playing junior events and came through qualifying in Stuttgart for her first WTA main draw.

Bencic will play Ekaterina Alexandrova or Karolina Muchova in the second round. It was the Swiss player’s first win on clay since the 2019 French Open.

Maria Sakkari beat German wild card Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-2. Sakkari broke Petkovic four times in a chaotic opening set. Sakkari next plays seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova or Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady.