This is a snappy Set Points to keep up-to-date with WTA happenings in Kuala Lumpur and Acapulco. Unfortunately both tournaments are at terrible times for me – KL is whilst i’m at work and Acapulco is whilst i’m asleep so i’ve decided to take a week off from predictions and daily posts. I’ll try and post one or two posts during the week with some results and anything of note. It’s a shame because Acapulco is a superb tournament but their late scheduling of matches means they don’t start till 10pm UK time.
On the first day of main draw action in Acapulco, the number two seed, Kristina Mladenovic had a routine win over Varvara Lepchenko, 6-2 6-3. I loved the point linked below although i’m not sure about the score?!
Mladenovic plays Heather Watson in the second round who overcame the qualifier, Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets, 7-5 6-3.
In an all-American match between Louisa Chirico and Shelby Rogers, it was the in-form Rogers who won, 6-2 6-2 in just 59 (!) minutes. Chirico is winless in 2017 and hasn’t won a match since Hong Kong last year in October.
In the longest match of day 1 on the WTA side, Pauline Parmentier defeated the American, Nicole Gibbs, 7-5 6-7(6) 6-2 in three hours and eight minutes.
Andrea Petkovic snapped a run of three consecutive losses in three set matches to come back and beat Jamie Loeb, 2-6 6-1 6-3. Petkovic won 0 out of 10 on first serve points in the first set which I don’t ever remember seeing before! In stark contrast, she won 13 out of 15 on first serve points in the second set and broke four times in the decider to score the first round win.
First round action continues on Tuesday including Ajla Tomljanovic up against Eugenie Bouchard and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni taking on Belinda Bencic. Tomljanovic will be playing her first match in over a year following shoulder surgery.
Bencic has drawn a seed in the first round at three of her first four tournaments with two of them being the top seed! I think Lucic-Baroni is actually a decent draw – MLB had a great run in Melbourne but I wouldn’t expect her to keep posting these types of results week in, week out because of the aggressive nature of her game. For the record, i’ve gone for a Puig-Bencic final this week in my draw challenge.
In Kuala Lumpur, four of the eight seeds are already out of the tournament. The biggest surprise for me was caused by the 18-year-old, Anna Kalinskaya who knocked out Caroline Garcia in straight sets, 7-5 6-2. The point that Kalinskaya won the first set on was an absolute cracker!
After a reasonably promising start to the season, Garcia has failed to win back-to-back matches at her last four tournaments. Not reacting to this loss but generally, i’ve always felt that Garcia could benefit from a new coach. Kalinskaya is a talented prospect and she gave Daria Gavrilova a close match earlier this year in St. Petersburg. This is in fact the first WTA main draw win of her career.
The number two seed, Carla Suárez Navarro was playing her first tournament since the Australian Open – despite winning the first set, the Spaniard fell in three sets to the world number 201, Miyu Kato.
The number one seed, Elina Svitolina had a medical time-out on her ankle but soldiered on, beating Su Jeong Jang, 6-2 6-3. Svitolina is set to play Nao Hibino in the second round but it wouldn’t be surprising to see her withdraw.
It was nice to see Zarina Diyas return in Kuala Lumpur – the 23-year-old made her return at the $15k Nanjing tournament last week but played her first WTA tournament this week following eight months away from the tour due to wrist surgery. Diyas has been as high as number 31 in the rankings and I remember she played a solid match against Serena last year in Miami. In the first round of Kuala Lumpur, Diyas lost to the number five seed, Duan Ying-Ying in straight sets.
On the first day of main draw action, Elise Mertens and Cagla Buyukakcay both went out of the tournament with upset wins for Lesley Kerkhove and Risa Ozaki respectively. For Buyukakcay, she has now lost her last eight singles matches on the tour. Three of her last four matches have gone the distance so I hope she can get that elusive win soon!
A few utterings today on Twitter about Petra Kvitova and not positive 😦
*Update* – Immediately after I posted, I saw the below tweet…
And finally, there’s lots of fun stuff happening in Acapulco… Eugenie Bouchard played beach tennis with Juan Martin del Potro yesterday. Great to see DelPo back this year!