The WTA grass court season kicked off on Monday with first round action in both Nottingham and Rosmalen/’s-Hertogenbosch (there are so many names for this tournament, I don’t know what is the most accurate!). It’s my intention to do a daily round-up for each day of the grass court season, but it might be difficult for these first two weeks! My two predicted champions for this week’s tournaments were both in jeopardy today; one of them didn’t survive! Read on for Monday’s Set Points…
I’d fancied Eugenie Bouchard to have a super grass court season… it didn’t get off to the best of starts! The world number 171, Elise Mertens caused a siezable upset, beating Bouchard, 6-2 6-0 in just 52 minutes. It was the first time Mertens had played a top 50 player on tour and she’s now 1-0. I just watched back some of the match on TennisTV and Mertens played very well. I wonder if Bouchard wasn’t feeling great? She seemed to be coughing and looked pale. The report on their official website implied this too HERE.
Another seed went down on day 1 in Rosmalen as Madison Brengle ousted one of the stars of the clay court season, Laura Siegemund, 6-3 3-6 6-2. The other seed in action, CoCo Vandeweghe survived, defeating Indy de Vroome in comfortable fashion, 6-2 6-4. CoCo is one of many players i’ve got my eye on for this grass court season and I think she will be dangerous after a superb run to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon last year.
Sad news about Kiki Bertens. I hope it doesn’t completely derail her grass court season.
Moving over to Nottingham and the three seeds in action all successfully made it into the second round. The number one seed, Karolina Pliskova dropped the opening set of her match against Anastasija Sevastova in the tiebreak (having led 4-0) but powered through the final two sets to secure a 6-7(5) 6-0 6-2 victory. There was the possibility of a Pliskova-Pliskova R2 match but those hopes were dashed as Kristyna Pliskova was defeated by Anna Tatishvili in straight sets.
Johanna Konta won 12 of the last 13 games to get her grass court campaign off to a great start with a 6-3 6-0 win over Victoria Duval. Christina McHale, Anett Kontaveit and Saisai Zheng were also winners on Monday. Kontaveit, who defeated Lauren Davis, 6-3 6-1, is one to watch out for in this draw. I think she’s got a good game for the grass and she is the type of player who could go on a deep run in an International draw like this. She will play Wozniacki or Buyukakcay in the second round.
Nottingham also had a key withdrawal as the defending champion, Ana Konjuh was forced to pull out. Laura Robson now takes on Michelle Larcher de Brito, which sounds just as tricky!
For those in the UK (not sure if it will work for those outside but give it a go!) who might be working and unable to watch, you can listen to coverage from Nottingham on the radio via BBC Sport. Look out for the link tomorrow on their website.
A heads up to the latest magazine produced by one of Petra Kvitova’s most loyal fans, @Pojd_Petra on Twitter. There are some wonderful fan accounts in this month’s magazine. I love the unique idea and I think it’s great how connected Petra is with her fans.
It’s been a busy evening as i’ve been finalising my big tennis trip for the year… i’m going to the US Open for the first time this year! I’ll be at the tournament for the first three days 🙂 I had SO many problems on the US Ticketmaster site and it took about two hours and two different computers to get through a pesky error message and finally book the tickets. It sounds like others in the UK have struggled as well :-S
And finally, i’m delighted to share another guest post from one of my readers! Thanks to Marc (@WtaFollow on Twitter) who has written about his day at Roland Garros from the first Thursday. It’s a great recap including photos of Petkovic-Putintseva, Thiem-Garcia-Lopez, Kasatkina-Razzano and Goerges-Puig. Thanks to Marc and all the contributors so far this year. You can read up on all of the guest posts HERE. If you’d like to write about your experience of attending a tournament for mootennis.com then please don’t hesitate to get in contact at MooTennisBlog@gmail.com.