LINZ, Austria — Fourth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro kept her hopes of qualifying for the WTA finals alive with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Mona Barthel of Germany in the first round of the Generali Ladies on Tuesday.
The 12th-ranked Spaniard, who is 10th in the race for the eight-player season-ending event, dropped her opening service game on the only break point she faced in the match. She closed out the win by taking the last five games in a row.
Suarez Navarro next plays fellow Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who beat Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Also, Anett Kontaveit of Estonia upset the formerly fifth-ranked Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 7-6 (5), 6-4 after winning six of the last seven games. In the second round, Kontaveit plays Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic, who defeated the seventh-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-2, 6-3.
Earlier, Germany’s Julia Goerges, who reached the final here in 2012, defeated Austrian wild-card entry Barbara Haas 6-4, 6-4 to set up a match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland.
Monica Niculescu of Romania came from behind to clinch a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Madison Brengle of the United States, who failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the final set. The 50th-ranked Niculescu will face either the top-seeded French Open champion Garbine Muguruza or Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey in the next round.
In other first-round play, Annika Beck of Germany conceded just five points in the opening set before beating Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-0, 6-4; and Oceane Dodin of France rallied to beat Czech qualifier Kristyna Pliskova 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-3 after coming back from 4-1 down in the second set.