Wednesday’s schedule in Montreal was rather dazzling on the eye. Sadly there was a noteworthy sad story involving Mihaela Buzarnescu that rather tainted the day. There were a handful of matches that were exciting on paper but sadly didn’t deliver and then the rain came! Read on for my recap of the day with eight stories from Montreal.
Cornet’s 1st top 5 win of the year, beats the Wimby champ
Alizé Cornet secured her best win of the year by beating the number four seed, Angelique Kerber, 6-4 6-1. In her first match since winning Wimbledon, Kerber didn’t fare so well and hit a whopping 32 unforced errors. You rarely see that from Kerber. It’s too early to be hitting any panic buttons so we’ll see how she gets on in Cincy. It felt like Cornet wanted it a bit more and she played a really sound match.
Better from Barty, d. Van Uytvanck
Ash Barty delivered a vastly improved display from her first round showing to beat the in-form, Alison Van Uytvanck, 7-6(7) 6-2. The first set tiebreak was crucial. Barty saved a set point with an ace and then won the tiebreak with Van Uytvanck going wide on the forehand and then getting a bit unlucky with a groundstroke clipping the net and going out. A good win for Barty who continues to build a solid, yet unspectacular season. The draw has opened up a tad in Montreal with Cornet up next.
Sharapova powers past Kasatkina
In an utterly ruthless and dominating display, Maria Sharapova knocked out the number 12 seed, Daria Kasatkina, 6-2 6-0. In their first ever match, Sharapova was brilliant on return and immediately put Kasatkina under pressure with some crushing strikes. Kasatkina couldn’t get a foothold in the match and looked overrawed and generally lacking in energy and intensity. Sharapova was mostly clutch, winning the long deuce game in each of the sets. This is up there with the win over Karolina Pliskova at Roland Garros for most impressive display of the year for Sharapova.
Svitolina-Buzarnescu ends on a mega low
Elina Svitolina advanced to the third round after Mihaela Buzarnescu was forced to retire in the third set with a serious ankle injury, eventually being taken off court in a wheelchair. It was horrible to watch as Buzarnescu was crying and clearly in a lot of pain. Props to Svitolina who tried to help out as much as she could. Really classy.
I’m absolutely gutted for Buzarnescu because she had been in stunning form, just winning her first title in San Jose last week, and once again had Svitolina on the ropes. Svitolina led by a set and a break, serving especially well. A peak patch of glorious hitting from Buzarnescu saw the Romanian player rally from 2-5 down in the second set tiebreak and then quickly go up a double break *3-0 in the decider.
Out of nowhere, Buzarnescu then couldn’t find the court and Svitolina rolled through the next four games. When the injury came, Svitolina looked to be taking control of the match again. It was an absorbing, if somewhat baffling match up till the injury. Both players had positive stats – Svitolina hit 23 winners to 10 (!) unforced errors, while Buzarnescu hit 41 winners to 38 unforced errors.
Just gutted about how that ended and was too bummed to watch any more tennis afterwards. Get well soon, Buz.
While I was sleeping…
Not much went on as heavy rain halted play again in Montreal. Wozniacki-Sabalenka and V.Williams-Cirstea didn’t get on court at all.
Konta leads Azarenka, 6-3 3-0*
Pavlyuchenkova leads Halep, 4-3*
Peng Shuai banned for six months
Louis Armstrong Court
Less than three weeks until the US Open!
The third round will be played on Thursday, as well as the four second round matches that didn’t get to play. Once again it demonstrates the lack of contingency in the schedule at these types of tournaments. It’s just not fair on the players. I don’t know how they get around it with such a tight schedule. The third round matches (so far) don’t grab like me Wednesday. Sometimes though that means an absolute gem pops up that you weren’t expecting! I’m playing tennis on Thursday so unlikely to be a post now until Friday.