Wednesday was the busiest day so far at the 2018 Volvo Car Open with 14 second round matches on the schedule and most of the top eight seeds coming out to play for the first time this week. After the seeds went a perfect ten for ten, four fell on day 3 of main draw action. Read on for nine stories from Wednesday’s action in Charleston.
Goerges survives morning thriller
The first match of the day on the Volvo Car Stadium was an absolute rollercoaster. After splitting sets, Julia Goerges led Kristie Ahn 4-0 in the third set. The healthy lead quickly evaporated as Ahn reeled off five games in a row and came within two points of a best career win. Goerges snuck out of trouble with a rather audacious drop shot winner (see below).
Goerges played a dreadful game trying to serve out the match at *6-5. Credit to the number five seed who played a clean tiebreak and secured her place in the third round with a 2-6 6-4 7-6(1) victory. Goerges was stretching out her leg towards the end of the third set and was very erratic. All that matters here was the win and Goerges’s celebration said it all. A vital win.
Osaka stops the Siege
My MOTD in Wednesday’s preview was Naomi Osaka vs. Laura Siegemund – it’s nice when a match lives up to to expectation! Surviving a frenetic second set, Osaka saved four set points to beat Siegemund in straights, 6-3 7-6(8). This was the most stressed that i’ve seen Naomi on the court for a while and she was overforcing at times. The fact that she managed to close this out in straights was a mega impressive effort.
This match reminded me how much fun Siegemund is to watch on clay and how infuriating she must be to play! Siegemund’s drop shots became increasingly effective and she was going toe-to-toe with Osaka from the baseline with so much self belief.
Having led by a set and break, Osaka was forced to save one set point at *4-5 and then two more at *5-6 to get into the tiebreak. The third set point was totally clutch from Osaka – second serve on the line (I was convinced it was long) and then a backhand winner on the line. Siegemund was smiling in disbelief as she erased both marks.
Ultimately, the difference between the pair was on serve. Siegemund double faulted on her fourth set point in the tiebreak at 8-7 and was frequently under pressure on the second serve, winning just 36% of points behind it. Osaka’s serve got her out of trouble when serving to stay in the second set and it also helped to seal the match with a sixth ace.
Sevastova resets, beats Dolehide in three
I tuned into Anastasija Sevastova vs. Caroline Dolehide towards the end of the second set. Based on some of the delightful tennis the pair played in the decider, I am sad to have missed the first two sets! Despite being practically in tears (nothing new), Sevastova rather eased through the decider for a 7-5 6-7(5) 6-1 win.
It’s official – I have boarded the Caroline Dolehide bandwagon. You could see that Sevastova was impressed by Dolehide with the handshake. I love Dolehide’s game and she has so much potential.
Back-to-back wins on the clay for Barty
Ash Barty played an excellent third set to beat Tatjana Maria, 4-6 6-3 6-2. Fun fact – this is the fourth time in 2018 that Barty has come from a set down to win in three sets. In terms of tactics, Barty is one of the best at figuring out how to turn a match around. Everything was working for Barty at the end as she dropped just four points on serve in the decider.
A second top ten win for Kr. Pliskova
On her seventh match point, Kristyna Pliskova scored the biggest upset of the 2018 Volvo Car Open so far with a 1-6 6-1 6-3 victory over Petra Kvitova. Kr. Pliskova flipped the match on its head after being dropped a breadstick with nine games out of ten, playing more aggressively and redirecting pace effectively. Kr. Pliskova was feeding Kvitova forehands on the match points. Sadly, it was too little too late for Petra. An amazing stat linked below about Petra playing the Czech players from WTA Insider.
Stollar’s Charleston run continues, beats Konta
Fanny Stollar is into the third round of Charleston for the second straight year after a stunning 6-3 6-4 win over Johanna Konta. Stollar was hitting so clean and sharp. I gasped at one return winner that she hit in the first set. I think a lot of Konta’s errors early doors were forced and she just didn’t do enough to throw Stollar off her rhythm. Stollar is yet another one to watch! At 19, she’s the youngest player left in the tournament.
While I was sleeping…
Madison Keys beat Lara Arruabarrena in Wednesday’s night match, 6-1 3-6 6-3. Keys gets Camila Giorgi in the next round. Their last encounter at Wimbledon was very eventful and I was lucky enough to watch it live from the front row of Court 2. One of the best live tennis days 😍 .
I do love the week of Charleston tennis. So many fun player features and the tennis has been great so far.
Another sweeping preview is up on the blog to cover Thursday’s third round matches including Goerges vs. Osaka and Sevastova vs. Barty.