First round action was completed on Tuesday at the two WTA tournaments this week at the Aegon Open in Nottingham and the Ricoh Open in Rosmalen. There were two prominent storylines; the return of some star names from injuries and a rough day for the Brits in Nottingham. Read on for Tuesday’s Set Points…
Four Brits were in action on Tuesday in Nottingham and just one of them survived. In a quartet of Heather Watson, Naomi Broady, Laura Robson and Tara Moore, it was the lowest ranked of the lot, Moore who reached the second round! The 23-year-old is a having a super grass court season having reached the final of the ITF tournament in Eastbourne last week. Moore defeated Donna Vekic in the first round of Nottingham, 6-2 7-5 and for the second consecutive week. Surely Tara’s looking good for a Wimbledon wildcard…
The other three Brits in action all lost; Magdalena Rybarikova defeated the number six seed, Heather Watson, 4-6 6-0 6-4, while Su-Wei Hsieh thrashed Naomi Broady, 6-2 6-1 and the qualifier, Michelle Larcher de Brito overcame Laura Robson, 6-3 7-5. Moore joins Konta in the second round and both will play their second round matches on Thursday.
Another winner on day 2 of main draw action in Nottingham was Caroline Wozniacki. Playing her first match since Miami, Wozniacki came through for a confidence-boosting victory over Cagla Buyukakcay, 7-5 6-3. The Dane failed to serve out the match (and the first set at the first time of asking) but a win is a win and it’s great to see her back competing. Wozniacki will play again on Wednesday, taking on Anett Kontaveit and it could be a tricky match. I’ve actually gone for the Estonian player in my Draw Challenge and i’d probably stick by that. Vote in the poll to share your opinion!
Two more seeds fell on Tuesday in Nottingham; the loss of the number seven seed, Mona Barthel wasn’t a surprise as the German player was playing just her second match since the Australian Open after suffering from a debilitating virus. Furthermore, she was playing the in-form and grass-court loving, Alison Riske. The American powered home in just 48 minutes, 6-2 6-1. The number five seed, Yanina Wickmayer also lost in straight sets to the lucky loser, Andrea Hlavackova.
Also a heads up for Ashleigh Barty who is making waves on the grass. The 20-year-old Aussie announced she was coming back to tennis in February and played her first singles tournament at the ITF $50k in Eastbourne last week. She won six matches, coming through qualifying to reach the semi-finals. Barty has now won a round in the Nottingham main draw, beating Shuai Peng, 6-3 6-2. Barty also come through Nottingham qualifying and has now amassed ten wins in two weeks! She plays Hlavackova in the second round…
Over in Rosmalen, there were a pair of comebacks for Belinda Bencic and Alison Van Uytvanck who played each other in the first round. While most of the coverage was on Bencic who was playing her first match since Charleston in April having suffered from a back injury, Van Uytvanck was also returning from a lengthy lay-off herself having been absent since Miami due to ankle surgery.
The pair, who are good friends, returned to play out an entertaining three setter. In the end it was Bencic who edged it in a third set tiebreak, 6-2 4-6 7-6(3). While Bencic will need time to find her game again, she remains one of the most reliable players at getting through matches like these and being mentally sound. Van Uytvanck played some wonderful points including a gorgeous slice winner in the final set tiebreak. Her slice is a real asset to her game for grass, but Bencic was a touch more solid when it really mattered.
It’s good to have BB back 🙂
And yay for the wonderful @FanOfBencic account on Twitter for getting to watch BB in Rosmalen… thanks for all the pictures! 🙂
The number two seed, Jelena Jankovic looked vulnerable going up against Katerina Siniakova, who reached the quarter-finals of Birmingham last year. Furthermore, Jankovic hadn’t won since Indian Wells following a spell on the sidelines for a shoulder injury. After recovering from a 0-3 first set deficit, Jankovic came back and won in straight sets, 6-4 6-2. An excellent win for JJ who was sporting shin pads in the match (and yesterday too in practice!).
The only seed to fall on Tuesday in Rosmalen was Anna-Lena Friedsam. Step forward, Viktorija Golubic who continues to impress. The Swiss player, who enjoyed a banner weekend in Fed Cup action in April and won a main draw round at the French Open, beat Friedsam on Tuesday, 6-3 7-5.