Tamira Paszek had a breakthrough year in 2011 reaching her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon; however things have not gone well for her in 2012 so far as she went 0-5 through the first two months of the season. All that changed on Wednesday as Paszek finally won a match in 2012 with a 6-4 2-6 6-1 victory over Anastasiya Yakimova. In fact, Yakimova had also not won a match in 2012! The performance was still well below Paszek’s best, but it is at least a move in the right direction. She will play Lucie Safarova in the second round.
The most dramatic match of the day saw Shahar Peer waste numerous leads as she went down to Lesia Tsurenko, 4-6 6-3 7-5. Peer served for the match at 5-4 in the third set, but failed to push home the advantage as Tsurenko continued her impressive form in 2012, which should take her into the top 100 very soon. Tsurenko will next play Francesca Schiavone who she beat in Fed Cup action several weeks ago. Peer’s best days look to be way, way behind her and she will fall a significant number of places in the rankings having reached the quarter-finals of Indian Wells last year.
There were also wins on day 2 for Chanelle Scheepers, Ksenia Pervak and Simona Halep. Scheepers, who had lost her last three matches recorded a routine 6-3 6-3 victory over Mathilde Johansson. Pervak came through 6-3 6-1 against Olga Govortsova, meanwhile Halep was even more dominant as she dismissed the hopes of the qualifier, Zhang Shuai, 6-1 6-1. Ekaterina Makarova was also amongst the winners as she won her first match since reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. She overcame the potentially tricky challenge of Bethanie Mattek-Sands with a 6-2 6-3 victory. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Lucie Hradecka both wasted match points as they crashed out of the competition. Martinez Sanchez wasted one in a 6-3 1-6 7-5 loss to Lourdes Domiguez Lino, meanwhile Hradecka wasted three on the way to losing 4-6 7-5 6-2 to Irina-Camelia Begu.
In the mens draw, I had a strangely successful start to my predictions! Philipp Kohlschreiber, Sam Querrey, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Nicolas Mahut and Matthew Ebden all won their first round matches. The most impressive performance of the day was from Ryan Harrison who annihilated Flavio Cipolla with a commanding 6-1 6-2 victory. He will play Viktor Troicki in the second round in a match that I fancy him to win…