Tuesday was a busy day in Montreal with 16 first round matches and 3 second round matches on the schedule. The weather behaved and everything is on course for what should be another exciting day of WTA action on Wednesday. The standard of matches that I watched on Tuesday improved as the day wore on! Read on for 9 stories in Tuesday’s Set Points from Montreal.
Konta’s best win of 2018
Johanna Konta scored her best win of the year by ranking with a come-from-behind victory over the world number 11, Jelena Ostapenko, 6-7(1) 6-1 6-2. This certainly wasn’t a classic. I was impressed though with Konta’s commitment and focus after losing a tight opener where she had led *3-0 with the double break. Ostapenko didn’t really seem up for the battle and lacked patience, going out in a blaze of unforced errors.
Barty toughs out win over Begu
Ash Barty won four of the last five games to beat Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-3 1-6 7-5. Begu required two medical time-outs in the decider including one at 5-5 for a toe injury. This was an absolute shocker of a match and probably the poorest performance i’ve seen from Barty all year. The Aussie was so tight on the break points, managing to go 0/11 (!) through a period of play between the second and third sets. Barty was surprisingly passive for large chunks of the match, almost sitting back and waiting for errors from Begu. I could feel Barty’s nerves when she had match points at 5-4. A win is a win I guess! I hope Ash is OK and can improve in her next match against Alison Van Uytvanck.
Kvitova makes an impressive start
In her first match since Wimbledon, Petra Kvitova recorded a first ever straight sets win over Anett Kontaveit, 6-3 6-4. I was in and out of this match but what I saw was impressive from Petra. Early signs are that the break has done her good. Funny moment of the match was one of the most baffling line calls i’ve ever seen… and with no overrule! Both Petra and Anett were laughing.
Goerges d. Safarova in a high quality second rounder
For the second day in a row, Julia Goerges battled back from a set down with a stellar serving display as she defeated Lucie Safarova, 2-6 6-4 6-3. Goerges is up to 31 aces for the week and was absolutely brilliant behind her first serve through the final two sets, dropping just two points behind it. Key to the win was Goerges’s service game at *4-3 where she dug herself out of a *0-40 hole with a string of unreturnable first serves and then sealed the game with a second serve kicked out wide.
My tolerance was pretty low after the first two matches but this was a high quality affair and I thought both played well. This was an encouraging week for Lucie as she played four matches in as many days. Her body held up physically and she just came up against an in-form opponent. It really felt like Goerges stepped it up at the end.
Cornet holds off Maria
I watched the final set of the rematch between Alizé Cornet and Tatjana Maria – just in case you forgot, this happened when they last met in singles. I was totally watching for any drama 😂. Cornet hit a volley at Maria in the third set which prompted a stare from Maria. Cornet walked backed to her baseline shaking her head. The handshake was solid, yet notably swift!
It was Cornet who prevailed in a very entertaining match, 4-6 6-1 6-3. Most of the points involved at least one of them up at the net. Maria’s ventures forward towards the end of the match were less effective. After a string of breaks, Cornet served out the match with aplomb. The Frenchwoman was delighted at the end as she signed autographs, took selfies and talked to members of the crowd. Cornet gets a shot at the Wimby champ, Angelique Kerber in the second round.
While I was sleeping…
One of the matches of the day came on court as Daria Kasatkina beat San Jose finalist, Maria Sakkari in three sets, 6-4 4-6 6-1. Great match point from Dasha and a lovely embrace between the pair at the end. Kasatkina now faces Maria Sharapova for the first time. Excited about that one!
Muguruza out of Montreal
Garbiñe Muguruza has pulled out of Montreal with the arm injury that bothered her in San Jose. Not a huge surprise as she said on Sunday in her press conference that she’d only just made it back to the practice courts. Monica Puig will take her place in the draw to play Anastasija Sevastova in the second round on Wednesday.
Cincy wild cards
A decent line-up of wild cards, including Victoria Azarenka already announced, are heading to Cincy next week.
So many great match-ups to look forward to on Day 3 of main draw action in Montreal. My top five (three isn’t enough!) are as follows. I’ll try and put up some thoughts on matches on the separate page during my lunch break.
Daria Kasatkina vs. Maria Sharapova
Elina Svitolina vs. Mihaela Buzarnescu
Victoria Azarenka vs. Johanna Konta
Caroline Wozniacki vs. Aryna Sabalenka
Ash Barty vs. Alison Van Uytvanck