A word of warning to WTA pros. When the tournament you play at asks you to do promo work before the event starts, think twice before saying yes. I mention this as Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka and defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova who all took time out to pose on the Porsche race track prior to the start of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix all fell in early round matches. Meanwhile, Dinara Safina made a triumphant return while Justine Henin didn’t let a broke pinky derail her chances to win her first event after returning to the tour.
Caroline Wozniacki, still dealing with an ankle injury she suffered in Charleston, lost to No. 38 Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-4. Wozniacki after the match said her movement was not 100% which led some to wonder why she even decided to play the event at all as other big names Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams dropped out due to their own injury woes.
Justine Henin defeated fellow Belgian Fed Cup teammate Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 7-5 after surviving a second set scare when Henin, though up 5-1, couldn’t close out the match on her serve until she finally broke Wickmayer in the final game. Henin will now take on Jelena Jankovic and looks to be the clear favorite to take the title now.
Finally, Dinara Safina, who’s been MIA from the tour for months due to a back injury suffered last year, made a well-received return to the game by winning her second round match against Agnes Szavay 6-3, 2-6, 7-5. Safina, who was runner-up last year at the event, will now take on Shahar Peer. Although Safina looks to defend a lot of ranking points she earned last year in the clay court season, she’ll remain in the top 5 regardless if she wins or loses vs. Peer.