Lesia Tsurenko and Lara Arruabarrena got main draw proceedings underway in Stanford in what was my first experience of WTA TV! It was a scratchy start from both in their first matches on hard courts since Wimbledon. It was third time lucky for Tsurenko in consolidating a break of serve in the first set and once she did, the Ukrainian player never really looked troubled. Tsurenko served well and didn’t face any break points in the second set. The backhand was on point and the forehand more than held its own. Tsurenko won, 6-3 6-3 for her third consecutive straight sets win over Arruabarrena.
The shot of the match came on set point in the first set with Tsurenko crafting a wonderful defensive lob. She also produced a well executed lob to set up the crucial break point in the second set.
My first experiences of using WTA TV have been mostly positive. I’ve seen a few complaints with security issues and not being able to access the site. I’ve had no problems so far although it is frustrating having to sign in every time. The big advantage for me is watching full screen on my iPad and the quality was great. It’s such a novelty not having to pull out the magnifying glass to the see the ball!
My stream lost definition on a few occasions but I think that is more an indication of my internet connection. I’m loving the multiscreen function where you can get up to four matches on screen. One thing i’d like to see is the names of matches on the “Live” page as opposed to just the court names.
Kayla Day secured her fourth WTA main draw win over Misaki Doi, 6-4 6-2. I really like what I have seen from Day so far this year and the 17-year-old showed experience beyond her years as she won the majority of the mini-battles in this match. The American was exceptional in defence and this was the key factor behind her win as she extended the rallies and forced a flurry of errors from a clearly lacking-in-confidence, Doi. The Japanese player has now lost her last four matches and it really showed as she was very errant on her normally potent forehand side.
Like the first match in Stanford, there was a stand-out set point in the first set as Day hit a gorgeous drop volley (see below). The American saved two break points when serving for the set and maintained her composure well. I’m very impressed with Kayla and she gets the Wimbledon champion, Garbiñe Muguruza in the second round. The pair played earlier this year in Indian Wells where Muguruza rallied to win in three exciting sets.
Now a top 20 player, Ana Konjuh moved into the second round of Stanford after the qualifier, Marina Erakovic was forced to retire. All the best to Marina.
While I was sleeping…
In the first evening match, Maria Sharapova beat Jennifer Brady in three sets. From all the highlights, Sharapova seemed to hit her fair share of return winners! The Russian player will no doubt want to improve her first serve percentage which was at 52% for the match. A good start nonetheless with Tsurenko up next in the second round.
Sharapova’s post-match interview is linked below.
Sharapova’s press conference was posted on the Bank of the West Classic Facebook page.
Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Nicole Gibbs also won their first round matches on Monday in Stanford. Gibbs had a narrow escape against the Wimbledon girls junior champion, Claire Liu.
Over in Washington it was a good day for the teens. 17-year-old, Bianca Andreescu, scored her first ever WTA main draw win with a superb, 5-7 6-3 6-4 victory over Camila Giorgi.
The 19-year-old, Aryna Sabalenka defeated last year’s finalist and number three seed, Lauren Davis, 7-5 6-3. This was Sabalenka’s best career win so far. Davis’s confidence from the start of the year seems to be draining.
Oceane Dodin advanced to the second round when her opponent, Jelena Jankovic, retired during the third set. This doesn’t sound too promising for JJ.
The Petko dance was out in full force as Andrea Petkovic beat Kurumi Nara in straight sets in Washington.
Carla Suárez Navarro has parted ways with her long-term coach, Xavier Budo.
And finally, it was nice to get to know a bit more about Katerina Siniakova who won her second WTA title last week in Bastad.