First round action concluded at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston with all the seeds scoring wins. Two second round matches were also on Tuesday’s schedule and were both epic for different reasons. For a pair of previews including Stephens-Kovinic and V.Williams-Riske, click HERE. Read on for Set Points to wrap up Tuesday in Charleston…
In a battle of the teens between Naomi Osaka and Louisa Chirico, it was the American who prevailed, 3-6 6-1 6-1 (!) in one hour and 37 minutes. I was really impressed with Chirico last year but her start to the year has been derailed by an ankle sprain. This was her first WTA main draw win of 2016 and she plays Lucie Safarova in the second round… eeek!
Sam Stosur defeated Aleksandra Krunic, 6-4 6-4 in a match that featured 31 break points. Krunic was the better player for most of the match but couldn’t take her opportunities, going four out of 20 break points. Krunic missed break points for a double break lead at 3-1 up in both sets… they were remarkably similar! Krunic threw in tame and nervy games, serving with scoreboard pressure at *4-5 in both sets. A messy performance from Stosur, particularly on serve, but she got the job done.
Daria Kasatkina began her campaign in Charleston with a comfortable, 6-2 6-1 victory over Saisai Zheng. I loved her response in her post-match interview when Andrew Krasny told her that she had won 100 Pro matches on the ITF and WTA tour.
Madison Brengle won an ITF title on green clay in Osprey last week, but was unable to keep her winning run going in Charleston, losing in straight sets to the qualifier, Kristina Kucova. Brengle had an interesting changeover chat with her coach/mum at the end in which she was clearly not having a good time… she even proclaimed that she hates tennis after disagreeing with her mum!
Eugenie Bouchard scored a solid win over Alexandra Dulgheru, 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 52 minutes. The match was much tougher than the scoreline suggested with Bouchard needing three set points to close out the first set and saving break points at *2-3 and *4-3 in the second set. After last year’s tribulations, it was a nice handshake!
Prolonging my bedtime was Mirjana Lucic-Baroni’s three set win over Kristina Mladenovic, 4-6 6-4 7-6(13). It was an absolute rollercoaster ride from start to finish. The pair traded nine breaks of serve in the second set with Mladenovic failing to hold once and the pair combining for 1/19 on second serve points won.
Surprisingly, from Lucic-Baroni leading 2-1 in the third set, there were no more breaks up to the third set tiebreak… there were many opportunities though with Mladenovic missing three break points in a row at 5-5 and then the Croat missing two match points with Mladenovic skating on thin ice with her second serve.
The tiebreak was wacky to say the least… both players missed four match points including back-to-back double faults at 11-11. Finally, it was Lucic-Baroni who converted on what was her seventh match point. Lucic-Baroni had produced a couple of crushing winners down match point. The quality wasn’t great but thumbs up for the drama and excitement!
Angelique Kerber won the first night match of the tournament, defeating a spirited effort from Lara Arruabarrena, 6-2 5-7 7-6(3). It sounded like epic in the good sense and is a match i’ll definitely have to catch up…
And this is my FAVOURITE thing!
You may have remember that I mentioned a tweener winner that Irina Falconi hit during her first round loss to Sabine Lisicki on Monday… well, i’m pleased to say that Irina tweeted a link of it yesterday from Andy Prutt Live 5 News on Facebook. An early contender for shot of the tournament already!
And finally, here’s a fun interview with Yulia Putintseva by Tennis Atlantic after she beat Kurumi Nara in the first round, 7-6(4) 6-0. Next up for Putintseva is Lisicki… count me in!