Today was the day a lot of the tops seeds started their campaign in Charleston and the results rolled on in Monterrey. Charleston did have unfortunate weather today and our feature match between Wozniacki and Beck wasn’t even started, so there won’t be a review on that. Charleston didn’t have much luck with the seeds as only 5 of the 9 seeds won their matches, leaving them with a 56% success rate, and in Monterrey all 3 of the seeds in action went through, leaving them with a 100% success rate.
In the first match up in Monterrey, we saw Julia Boserup win her match over Tereza Martincova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to become the unexpected quarterfinalist of the tournament thus far. Both came through first round matches they weren’t expected to win so they wouldn’t have been playing with pressure and it ended up that the American was the better player today. Martincova was being held together by tape and her movement was hampered so Boserup really should have got this one a lot easier. It looked like business as usual in the first set as Boserup didn’t face a break point and broke the Czech player twice on the way to the comfortable 6-3 set. Boserup continued to dominate in the second set as she broke early and rose to a 4-1 lead but just as victory was in sight, the American choked. She stopped swinging through her shots and all the injured Martincova had to do was hit the ball over the net and let Boserup lose the point. Martincova won the next five straight games and then Boserup carried her bad play into the third set. Martincova broke and went out to a 1-3 lead in the decider but from there Boserup shook off her nerves and managed to get herself to get Martincova moving again. Martincova was exhausted and Boserup only tired her out more as she one the next 5 of 6 games to take the three set match. I haven’t watched Boserup before so I’m not sure if she always tightens up when she’s close to finishing her matches but if it is frequent it’s something she will need to deal with because she has the game to go further than where she is now
Also in Monterrey, Timea Babos had a great 6-3, 6-2 win over the big serving Naomi Broady to advance to the quarterfinals. Broady wasn’t playing as well as she was in her opening match but Babos was serving really well and she only lost 3 points behind her first serve throughout the entire match. The first set was tighter than the scoreline reflected as it was only the one break of serve that separated the pair. Broady came out feeling a few nerves and that showed in her first service game, as Babos broke to go up 3-0. It was on serve from there as the Hungarian’s serve was untouchable and she didn’t face a break point on the way to taking the first set. Broady got disheartened after losing the set and she came out looking slightly sluggish. She got broken in her opening service game and in what felt like the blink of an eye Broady was serving to stay in the set at 5-1 down. She managed to get one final service hold before Babos served out the match confidently. I tipped Timea to win the title at the start of the week and the way she is playing is making me really confident about my pick, but she does face the in-form Pavlyuchenkova next.
In Charleston, Daria Gavrilova played the best match I have seen from her all year as she got past Alison Riske 6-3, 6-1 in a decisive fashion. Gavrilova has had good results this year but she hasn’t had a match that she has won really comfortably and been on for over 90% of the match until today. Gavrilova came out slightly nervous and she played a bad service game to start, which let Riske break and take a 1-3 lead to begin the match but she didn’t give the American much after that. She won the next five straight games including three breaks of serve to take the first set and she didn’t slow down for the second set. Gavrilova was very consistent in the first set as she only hit 8 unforced errors to 17 winners. In the second set, Gavrilova raced out to a 4-0 lead before Riske drew blood by breaking Gavrilova but after breaking start back the Aussie served out the very comfortable win. Overall, Gavrilova hit 29 winners to Riske’s 11 winners so this will give Dasha a lot of confidence going in to her next match and going in to the rest of the clay court season.
Also in Charleston, Kiki Bertens appeared to be overjoyed about being back on her preferred surface of clay and that showed today as she got past Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 7-5 to go into the third round. Bertens has only won back-to-back matches once in her eight tournament so far this year and she’s really struggled for results since the French Open semifinals last year, so she is loving getting back on the dirt and getting comfortable victories. Bondarenko did appear to be struggling with a hip injury in the first set and from 2-2, Bertens formalised a game plan to make the Ukrainian run and it got to much for Bondarenko as Bertens reeled off four straight games to take the set. After exchanging breaks in the first two games of the set, neither women was letting go of their serves as Bondarenko found a way to deal with her injury. Bertens did have 7 break point oppurtunities throughout the set but none were taken until Bondarenko was under pressure when serving to stay in the set at 6-5 down. Bertens broke and she took the match to set up an interesting third round with the feel-good story of 2017; Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Caroline Garcia defeated Nadia Podoroska 6-0, 6-3
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Kristie Ahn 7-6(7-5), 6-4
Shelby Roger defeated Madison Keys 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
Naomi Osaka defeated Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-4
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni defeated Mona Barthel 6-3, 6-2
Frannie Stollar defeated Elena Vesnina 7-6(9-7), 7-6(7-3)
Jelena Ostapenko defeated Maria Sakkari 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
Anastasija Sevastova defeated Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-4
Ons Jabeur defeated Magda Linette 6-4, 6-4
Lucie Safarova defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-3
Laura Siegemund defeated Venus Williams 6-4, 6-7(3-7), 7-5
Irina-Camelia Begu defeated Kristina Kucova 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(8-6)
Daria Kasatkina defeated Monica Puig 6-0, 6-7(3-7), 6-2
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