This is a snappy Set Points for Tuesday as i’m feeling pretty drained from work. I didn’t get the chance to watch any tennis during lunch and unlike Monday, most of the matches were finished by the time I got home so there wasn’t a great deal of live tennis to watch this evening.
Three second round matches were on Tuesday’s slate including two top eight seeds, Johanna Konta and Svetlana Kuznetsova. In the first match on Pietrangeli, Konta scored just her fourth WTA main draw win on clay, beating Yulia Putintseva, 6-3 6-0. Kuznetsova joined Konta in the third round but had a far tougher time of it, enduring a wild second set in a 6-1 7-6(3) win over Katerina Siniakova. It was most enjoyable…
It looked set to be one of “those” matches for Kuznetsova as she had led 6-1 4-1 – Siniakova reeled off four straight games including coming out on top of a marathon eight-deuce game where the Russian player missed six game points that would have seen her one game from the win. Siniakova was floored after one stunning Kuznetsova cross-court shot, but she dusted herself off to break back.
Kuznetsova lost her patience and became increasingly passive as a bold Siniakova started to boss the rallies. Siniakova served for the second set and even had two set points – the Czech player will want the first one back as she practically had an open court but pushed the ball long. Kuznetsova broke back and the set eventually went to the tiebreak.
While Kuznetsova was up 4-1 in the tiebreak, I was still convinced this was going to a third set tiebreak 😂. Kuznetsova found her depth again, hitting down-the-line with conviction and finishing with two strong points.
Up a break in the third set against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in a match that was panning out in remarkably similar fashion to their Madrid clash from last week, Maria Sharapova was forced to retire.
Sharapova pulled out with a left thigh injury.
The big news of the day was confirmation that Maria Sharapova will not play the French Open after the Facebook live announcement by Bernard Giudicelli Ferrandini of the French Tennis Federation. I’m really surprised as I thought Sharapova would get a qualifying wildcard. I thought the decision to stream the “announcement” was pathetic. For those interested, you can watch HERE.
First round action in Rome was wrapped up with the following results…
Anett Kontaveit won her 27th match of 2017, beating fellow qualifier, Andrea Petkovic, 6-3 6-4.
Anastasija Sevastova continued her superb run of form on clay, edging last year’s Rome semi-finalist, Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-4 6-4.
Ekaterina Makarova thrashed home favourite, Roberta Vinci for the loss of just three games. Vinci has an 8-19 W-L record in Rome.
CiCi Bellis continues to impress on the clay – with her sixth win on clay this year, the American defeated Misaki Doi, 6-4 7-6(6). Bellis saved a set point in the second set tiebreak.
In her first ever win over Monica Niculescu, Kiki Bertens came from a set down to post an excellent 2-6 6-2 6-1 victory in one hour and 58 minutes.
Daria Gavrilova scrapped her way to a 2-6 7-5 7-5 win over the number 10 seed, Madison Keys. The American battled back from a double break down in the second set from 2-5 to 5-5 including saving three set points. Keys then threw in a shocker of a service game to gift Gavrilova a third chance to serve out the set which she converted. Keys was three times up a break in the third set but failed to consolidate.
With a cracking return winner on match point, Julia Goerges knocked out the Madrid finalist and number 13 seed, Kristina Mladenovic, 7-6(5) 7-5.
Jelena Ostapenko won her 14th match on clay this year, beating Shelby Rogers, 6-3 6-4.
Timea Bacsinszky produced a super solid display to defeat a struggling, Timea Babos, 6-2 6-2. Babos’s coach did at least make her laugh during a changeover in the second set.
And finally, Lauren Davis knocked out former Rome finalist, Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-2 5-7 6-3 – another excellent win for Davis.