Reigning champion Johanna Larsson aims to win her first tournament of the season and third of her career this week in Nurnberg. In the first round, she will face wild card and two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Kuznetsova, the oldest player to get direct entry into the Nurnberg main draw at age 33, has a 1-0 head-to-head lead over Larsson. Kuznetsova won their only prior meeting in straight sets, in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in 2017.
Larsson defeated Alison Riske in last year’s final. No.4 seed Riske will play 250th-ranked qualifier Nina Stojanovic for the first time, as the American returns in search of her second career title. Riske’s sole WTA singles title to date came at the 2014 Tianjin Open, and she has reached six other WTA singles finals since then.
Mona Barthel won her only prior meeting with Paula Ormaechea in straight sets, in qualifying of the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open. Barthel reached the Nurnberg quarterfinals in 2014 for her best tournament result.
This will be the first meeting between No.3 seed Ajla Tomljanovic and 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki. Wild card Lisicki reached the Nurnberg second round in 2015 and 2016, while Tomljanovic fell in the first round in her only prior tournament appearance, in 2017.