Starting with Moscow… the most dramatic match of the day saw the 18-year-old, Anna Blinkova save five match points and come from 2-5 down in the third set to defeat, Anastasija Sevastova, 4-6 6-1 7-6(10). Not only was it the best win of Blinkova’s career so far but it was also her first ever WTA main draw win.
Blinkova progresses to the second round where she will play Ana Konjuh in a battle of the 18-year-olds. As a lucky loser, Konjuh recorded an impressive win in the first round against the number six seed, Barbora Strycova, 6-4 1-6 6-2. Konjuh’s results have been up and down since reaching her first Slam quarter-final at the US Open but she’s ending the season on a high note.
Ekaterina Makarova survived a tight break-happy first set with nine breaks in 12 games before rolling through the second set to defeat the qualifier, Nicole Gibbs, 7-5 6-1.
Nicole shared some of her Twitter notification after the match… block and report.
Hong Kong semi-finalists, Kristina Mladenovic and Daria Gavrilova both won their first round matches in Mosow in straight sets. Mladenovic won 10 of the last 12 games to beat the Russian wildcard, Anna Kalinskaya, 6-4 6-2.
Gavrilova enjoyed a very comfortable win over Lucie Safarova, 6-2 6-2, in just 52 minutes. It was actually Lucie’s most one-sided loss of the entire year. Her form and confidence in singles has waned and I really hope she can have a healthy off-season to prepare for 2017, as well as finalising her coaching situation. Another good win for Gavrilova though, who had some things to say in press about comments on social media. Good for you, Dasha!
In the longest match of the day, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova recovered a double break 0-3 deficit in the decider against Katerina Siniakova before squeaking out a 7-6(2) 5-7 7-5 victory in two hours and 47 minutes. Pavs had led by a set and a break but took a little detour! Pavs plays Jelena Jankovic in the second round who inflicted a sixth consecutive loss on Jelena Ostapenko with a 6-3 6-3 victory. Ostapenko didn’t hold serve once…
In other Moscow matches,…
Julia Goerges won her first ever match in Moscow, recovering a 3-5 first set deficit to beat Danka Kovinic in straight sets, 7-6(3) 6-3.
Yulia Putintseva advanced to a tasty second round clash with Elina Svitolina after her first round opponent, Lesia Tsurenko retired after dropping the first set. Poots and Svits have some history so this is one to cancel all plans for…
Over to Luxembourg where the defending champion, Misaki Doi was tumbled out of the tournament in just 65 minutes by Lauren Davis. The American won 6-1 6-2 to record her 16th win since Wimbledon. Davis, who has spent much of the year outside of the world’s top 100, is currently at her highest ranking in over a year.
The finalist from last year, Mona Barthel, fared much better than the champ and it was an absolutely crucial win for the German player. Barthel’s had a shocker of the year after a mystery virus wiped her out for much of the first half of 2016. She’s really struggled to get anything going since then, so much so that she’s down to #135 in the rankings and is set to fall much further this week unless she can score some more wins. Mona’s made a good start! 🙂
The top two seeds, Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki, both took control with lengthy winning game streaks after shaky moments. Kvitova’s first round opponent, Hsieh Su-Wei had served for the first set but Kvitova reeled off nine games to come through, 7-5 6-0. Wozniacki lost the first two games against Madison Brengle but won the next 12 (!), eventually seeing off the American, 6-2 6-2.
I’m still laughing at this changeover chat between Madison Brengle and Nicole Melichar.
The last match of the day in Luxembourg isn’t being streamed this week which is such a shame… Sabine Lisicki had a good, solid win over Viktorija Golubic, 6-3 3-6 6-2. As always thanks to René Denfeld for his informative updates.
And it was a really big win for Sabine!
In the last streamed match and the only one I managed to catch live, Andrea Petkovic had a nice win and turnaround against home favourite, Mandy Minella, 1-6 7-5 6-4. Minella had lost in the first round of the Luxembourg main draw eight times and this was the closest she came to a win!
Petkovic was rusty and mightily frustrated; she stuck with it in the second set as a once-peaking Minella began to miss. Petkovic failed to serve out the second set at *5-4 with back-to-back double faults, but stepped it up at 5-5 with some aggressive hitting having looked tentative for a set and a half. Petkovic managed to serve out the second set and really settled after then, hitting so much more cleanly and dictating rallies. Petkovic got tight closing which wasn’t a surprise considering she’s won just three matches since Wimbledon… but she got across the finish line for a vital win.
In other Luxembourg matches,
Kiki Bertens won her first singles match since July, ending a seven match losing streak with a 6-4 6-4 win over Annika Beck.
The tables turned in Luxembourg as Kristyna Pliskova overcame her loss to Oceane Dodin last week in Linz, this time prevailing in three sets, 3-6 6-3 6-4. It was her 17th win since the US Open!
Johanna Larsson dropped just four points behind her serve in the second set of a comfortable 6-4 6-2 win over Pauline Parmentier.
And finally, Tereza Smitkova won her first tour level main draw match since the 2015 US Open with a straight sets triumph over Sorana Cirstea, 6-3 6-3. Smitkova, who reached the last 16 of Wimbledon back in 2014, is down to 195 in the world rankings.
This made me chuckle haha!
And let’s end on a nice moment from yesterday 🙂