In a highly compelling first round match, Andrea Petkovic came from a set down and then a break down in the decider to edge Caroline Garcia, 3-6 6-4 7-5. It was one of those matches where you wish it didn’t have to happen in the first round. I was in and out for the first two sets but watched the whole of the third set, which was very entertaining. Garcia was the more dynamic player but Petkovic fought valiantly and won the majority of the big points.
Petkovic always seemed to be battling back in this match. She was 4-0 down in the first set before eventually losing it 6-3. There was a big game in the second set at 3-3 where Petkovic saved four break points to hold. While she didn’t get the break in the next game, the hold was big in the whole context of the set as Petkovic broke in Garcia’s next service game to seal the set, 6-4.
Garcia got the early break in the third set and rode with it for quite sometime. Most of Petkovic’s holds were extremely hard fought and she saved a break point at *2-4 *30-40 that would have seen Garcia serve for the match. Again, this was a big point that Petkovic was able to win and she broke back in the next game. Garcia also had a break point on Petkovic’s serve at 4-4 but again, it was the German player who dug in deeeep. Garcia was aggressive on return although she wasn’t stepping in as she normally does and giving herself a bit more time. It was working much more effectively, but she couldn’t find a decent return on a break point when she really needed it.
The first match point saw Garcia finish off a short ball. I love Twitter as everyone sees something differently!
Petkovic forced a second match point with a deep return that saw Garcia just go wide. After another competitive rally, it was Garcia who made the error as Petkovic survived to secure her second win over Garcia this year. Petkovic’s knee was a concern before the match and although she started tentatively, looked to be moving well towards the end. Petkovic always seems to start tournaments slowly with long three setters but if she hangs around for long enough, she is dangerous on the hard courts. I would guess that wins like these are much more satisfying than an easy straight setter.
Petkovic plays Elena Vesnina in the second round who also came from a set down in her first round win over Laura Robson. Vesnina won seven of the last eight games to win, 3-6 6-3 7-5. It was a tough loss for Laura but it’s still great to just see her back and competing well.
In other matches, Lucie Safarova and Timea Bacsinszky both lost in straight sets. It was revealed after Lucie’s 6-4 6-1 loss to Lesia Tsurenko that she was struggling with an injury, an abdominal tear that I would guess was picked up in New Haven.
Bacsinszky also suffered another painful loss, going down 7-5 6-0 to Barbora Strycova. Timea held serve just once in the match in the very first game and was unable to serve out the first set at 5-3, losing 10 straight games. Her last few matches haven’t been streamed so it’s hard to fully judge the situation, but it is a worrying run of form for a player who has not only peaked at the Slams this year but also delivered on the tour too. It seems the likes of Bacsinszky, Pliskova and Suárez Navarro are all running out of steam after impressing so much through the first half of 2015. The race for Singapore is going to be very interesting…