Maria starts Stuttgart campaign with a win

Maria is through to the second round at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany after a 7-5 6-3 win over Roberta Vinci of Italy. The match lasted an hour and 43 minutes for Maria’s third consecutive win against the Italian.

Vinci got the first advantage of the match as she took a 2-0 lead. After a long game in the third game, Maria broke her opponent with a forehand return winner to get the set back on serve. Both players held the serve until Maria hit a backhand return winner to lead 6-5. Maria took control in the next game on her serve to take the set as a forehand winner clinched the set in 59 minutes.

Maria got an early break in the second set to lead 1-0 as Vinci netted a forehand. At 5-3 up on Vinci’s serve, Maria had three match points and converted the first when Vinci netted a backhand as Maria booked a spot in the last 16.

After the win, Maria said:
It’s the best feeling in the world. The first few seconds before you enter the arena — it’s been a stage of mine since I was a young girl – I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.

Maria’s opponent in the second round will be world No.43 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. Maria has played the 28-year-old six times before and leads the series 6-0. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2011 Madrid R2: Maria won 6-3 3-6 6-1
2011 Rome R2: Maria won 6-1 6-1
2012 Australian Open QF: Maria won 6-2 6-3
2012 Miami R4: Maria won 6-4 7-6
2013 Australian Open QF: Maria won 6-2 6-2
2015 Australian Open SF: Maria won 6-3 6-2

On playing Makarova, Maria said:
She’s a lefty. I think every match no matter who I play is important for me. It’s important to play points, games, sets, it’s important for me.

This match will be played on Thursday and is the third match on Centre Court and the schedule begins at 12.00 PM local time (6.00 AM ET and 3.00 AM PT).