The first clay court event of the season on the WTA Tour got underway in Charleston on Monday, as play in the first round at the Volvo Car Open took place. And handful of seeds along with a group of Americans were all in play on the clay courts in the United States. Here’s what happened on day one of the clay court season in Charleston.
Day one did not go well for the Americans. Five home-hopes were in action, with only once advancing. Shelby Rogers came close, but was ousted by Lara Arruabarrena in three tight sets in just over two hours. Christina McHale got out to a fast start in her first round match, claiming the opening set, but she took eventually fellow to a Spaniard in three sets, falling 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 to Lourdes Dominguez Lino. Alison Riske managed to advance, but it came at the cost of a fellow American, as she took out wildcard Frances Altwick 6-3, 6-2.
Former Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki was the biggest name in action on day one in Charleston and advanced with ease, much to the chagrin of the home crowd, as she defeated American Irena Falconi 6-4, 6-3. The German’s serve was not the weapon that it normally was, as she hit seven double faults and was broken twice, but she got enough going on her return and responded with four breaks of her own to claim victory.
12th seed Daria Gavrilova was forced to battle in her opening round match, but survived a tight three-setter with Zarina Diyas 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. The Aussie poured the pressure on her opponents serve, reaching break point ten times, converting four of them. 11th seed Kristina Mladenovic also advanced in straight sets.
It was not all well and good for the seeds however, as 16th seed Misaki Doi was bounced in three sets by Kateryna Bondarenko. Despite claiming the opening set, the Japanese could not keep up the momentum and her Ukrainian opponent roared back to claim the 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory.
The longest match of the day saw Irina-Camelia Begu outlasted Caroline Garcia in an hour and 46 minutes, claiming a third set tiebreak to advance. In other action, Ana Konjuh advanced in straight sets, as did Montenegrin Danka Kovinic. Lucky loser Jana Cepelova took advantage of her opportunity and advanced to the second round, battling past Anastasija Sevastova in three sets. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni was dominant in her opening match, dropping only three games in her easy win over Shuai Peng. Elena Vesnina won a battle of qualifiers, ousting Dutchwoman Cindy Burger in straight sets.
First round action will continue tomorrow in Charleston, with big names such as Sam Stosur and Eugenie Bouchard kicking off their campaigns. Some second round matches will be played, including top seed Angelique Kerber.