Kvitova saunters through in Prague, Hercog upsets Cibulkova

Petra Kvitova coasted into the second round of the Prague Open in her homeland at the expense of compatriot Tereza Smitkova, and Polona Hercog upset Dominika Cibulkova in Rabat on Tuesday.

Kvitova, appearing in the tournament for the first time, was given a rapturous reception after playing a major role in the Czech Republic's recent Fed Cup semi-final win over Germany.

The second seed is the highest ranked player remaining in the tournament after Karolina Pliskova's withdrawal and made light work of overcoming wildcard Smitkova 6-1 6-3.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova had lost both of her WTA Tour matches on clay this season, but she was a cut above Smitkova, breaking three times in the first set and twice in the second to earn an encounter with Natalia Vikhlyantseva. 

Camila Giorgi pulled off an upset, beating out-of-sorts fifth seed Barbora Strycova, who has now lost six consecutive singles matches following a 6-0 2-6 6-2 defeat on home soil.

Third seed Daria Kasatkina suffered a thigh injury in a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 loss to 144-ranked lucky loser Jasmine Paolini, while unseeded Czech Kristyna Pliskova accounted for ninth seed Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Hercog was beaten by Pauline Parmentier in the Istanbul Cup final on Sunday, but showed no signs of fatigue in a 2-6 7-5 6-4 success over second seed Cibulkova at the Grand Prix SAR la Princesse Lalla Meryem.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands missed out on a first victory since returning from a horrific knee injury at Wimbledon last year, Hsieh Su-Wei defeating the American 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 in the first round. 

The unfortunate Timea Bacsinszky withdrew due to a calf injury sustained while warming up for her match against Christina McHale, who lost 7-5 7-5 to replacement Magdalena Frech, while top seed Elise Mertens hammered Kristina Kucova.

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