Tuesday was a busy day in Birmingham and Mallorca with 26 singles matches on the schedule. I’m melting as I write this so i’m going to keep it relatively brief. First up on the Ann Jones Centre Court in Birmingham was Petra Kvitova up against Tereza Smitkova. I watched the second set and was really impressed with Petra… she’s looking good on grass! Closing with an ace, Kvitova won 6-2 6-3 to book a second round date with Naomi Broady.
Then I watched the end of the first match on court two where Camila Giorgi twice failed to serve it out against Natalia Vikhlyantseva – there were quite a few double faults from the Italian player. Giorgi’s persistence paid off in the second set tiebreak as she recorded her fourth win of the week in Birmingham.
I caught a few games of Katerina Siniakova vs. Nao Hibino – Siniakova was all over the shop as she let slip a big lead in the second set. I was quite surprised to find out later that she did get the win in straight sets, 7-5 7-5.
Saving two match points, Lucie Safarova edged a three set thriller against Dominika Cibulkova, 5-7 7-6(7) 7-5. Following on live scores was a wild ride – i’m thrilled for Lucie to get the win! By all accounts, it was a smashing match and one I need to find a full replay of…
The WTA highlights of Lucie-Domi are linked below.
I got home in time to watch all of the last match on Centre Court between Garbiñe Muguruza and Elizaveta Kulichkova. While she was outhit for most of the match with Kulichkova hitting an array of magnificent return winners, the more consistent, Muguruza came through in three sets, 6-3 3-6 6-4. This was Muguruza’s 11th three set win of 2017.
In other first round matches from Birmingham, Johanna Konta, Kristina Mladenovic and Daria Gavrilova all advanced to the second round in straight sets. There was a good win for Ashleigh Barty who saved four set points in the second set to beat Marketa Vondrousova, 7-5 7-6(1) in the match of the day on the outside courts.
In Mallorca, Victoria Azarenka and Sabine Lisicki both made their returns to the tour – Lisicki made it through to the second round via a retirement from Kiki Bertens with the pair tied at one set all.
Victoria Azarenka and Risa Ozaki will have to come back on Wednesday after the Mallorca night session was once again halted for bad light. Ozaki will be serving for the win when they return, leading 3-6 6-4 5-4. I was really encouraged by Azarenka’s willingness to come forward and she played a handful of inspired points at the net. However, Ozaki was moving great and was so, so solid with Azarenka committing plenty of errors long.
In other first round matches from Mallorca…
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova edged Sara Sorribes Tormo in their darkness delayed match from Monday, 4-6 7-5 6-4.
Julia Goerges won her first match on grass since the 2012 Olympics and in style, 6-1 6-2 over Lara Arruabarrena.
CiCi Bellis continues to rack up the quality wins – in her first match on grass (!), the American beat Carla Suárez Navarro in straight sets, 6-3 7-5. This was Bellis’s seventh top 50 win of 2017.
Francesca Schiavone scored an excellent win over Eugenie Bouchard, 6-7(5) 6-4 6-3.
Roberta Vinci ended up playing Sara Errani after Anett Kontaveit withdrew from the tournament – Vinci dropped only three games in just her second win since Indian Wells.
Caroline Garcia condemned Jelena Jankovic to a seventh loss in eight matches with a 6-4 6-4 victory. Caroline’s return position on match point! 😲
Ana Konjuh survived a rollercoaster three setter with Ons Jabeur, 7-6(1) 4-6 6-3.
Belinda and Dasha together 😊
And finally, the players have started to arrive in Eastbourne… three days of work left! 😍😍😍