Tuesday at the Carlsbad Classic saw first round matches contested at the WTA 125K Series tournament in Southern California. Top seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium and second seed Tatjana Maria of Germany both advanced, although the other two seeds in action Julia Glushko and Sachia Vickery fell. Talented teens Catherine "CiCi" Bellis and Francoise Abanda both advanced in straight sets setting up fascinating second round match-ups for both.
Top seeds Yanina Wickmayer and Tatjana Maria advance in straight sets
First on Centre Court was former US Open semifinalist Wickmayer taking on 24 year-old American Julia Boserup. The Belgian was able to open up a 5-2 advantage in the first set, hitting strong forehands and pressuring Boserup into errors. The Belgian's lead quickly evaporated as she dropped serve while serving for the set at 5-3. Boserup's level improved and the first set went into the tiebreak with momentum on the side of the lower-ranked player. The first seed's experience prevailed in the breaker, with nerves creeping in for the American who committed her first double fault of the match on set point. In the second set, Wickmayer dominated on serve, never facing a break point and only dropping three points in her four service games, enabling her to move into the second round with a 7-6(3), 6-3 win. Second seed Maria, one of the few mothers playing on the WTA tour, had an easier time of it defeating unranked wildcard Nicole Mossmer 6-1, 6-4.
Teens CiCi Bellis and Francoise Abanda advance
Following the match of Wickmayer the crowd on Centre Court were able to see last sixteen year-old Bellis, last year's ITF World Junior Champion, take on sixth seeded Glushko of Israel. Bellis has not played many tournaments in the second half of the year and looked rusty dropping her first service game, but quickly settled into the match and took control. Glushko struggled in all her remaining service games as the Californian returned excellently staying aggressive and hitting the ball deep. Moving well and hitting with a nice combination of power and depth, Bellis was able to come through 6-3, 6-4 over Israel's top player. She will face fellow American teenager Katerina Stewart in the second round in a match which will take place Thursday.
Looking to turn around a year marred by injuries and inconsistency, Montreal native Abanda has moved into round two following a 6-1, 6-1 victory over former USC player Zoe Gwen Scandalis. The 18-year-old, who came through qualifying, has seen her ranking drop over 200 spots in the last year, but is finding form once again. Abanda will face a tough test tomorrow playing the second seed Maria, whose variety and patience could trouble the aggressive baseliner.
Sachia Vickery falls while Kristie Ahn rises to the occasion
In other matches from Tuesday, Bulgarian Elitsa Kostova defeated seventh seeded Vickery 6-4, 6-2. Vickery has had a promising year, but will need to improve her consistency next year if she hopes to move inside the top 100. In a match between two unseeded players ranked outside the top 200, former Stanford Cardinal Kristie Ahn won a three-set match over Dalila Jakupovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. This victory could prove crucial in securing Ahn a place in January's Australian Open qualifying tournament. Other winners on day two were Greece's top player Maria Sakkari and Paraguay's top player Veronica Cepede Royg, who both advanced in one-sided matches.