Gasparyan rallies to beat Witthoeft at WTA event in Linz

LINZ, Austria (AP) Margarita Gasparyan of Russia rallied from a break down in the final set to beat Carina Witthoeft of Germany 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 on Monday on the opening day of the Generali Ladies.

Gasparyan, who won her maiden WTA title in Baku in August, converted all six break points to set up a second-round match against last year's finalist Camila Giorgi of Italy or Julia Goerges of Germany.

Earlier, Anna-Lena Friedsam defeated Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3. The 118th-ranked German dropped her opening service game but won 12 of the next 16 games, and will now face either the top-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic or Andreea Mitu of Romania.

Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium also advanced by beating Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 6-3, 7-6 (3).

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