Wildcard and teenage sensation Anastasia Potapova claimed a stunning 6-1, 6-1 victory over the higher-ranked Viktoriya Tomova in the first round of the 2018 Moscow River Cup, the Russian’s home tournament.
The local crowd was excited to see the young prospect in action on Centre Court, and the 17-year-old truly lived up to expectations by grabbing the straight sets win within just 51 minutes of play, sealing a place in the second round where she will face a Czech in either Katerina Siniakova or Kristyna Pliskova.
Overcoming a slow start, Potapova grabs the first set
It was Tomova who had the better start in the early stages after an outstanding dropshot winner earned her the first break point of the match. Although Potapova was able to fend it off with a trademark backhand winner, the Bulgarian continued to apply the pressure and ultimately got off to the best possible start, grabbing the break in the opening game. However, her celebrations were short-lived as Potapova came back roaring, firing back into contention with a series of winners.
The Russian was simply firing on all cylinders as she overpowered her opponent with her powerful and solid groundstrokes which left Tomova helpless out on the court. The world number 129 went too much on her backhands, and it backfired as Potapova grabbed her second successive break to open a commanding 4-1 lead within a blink of an eye.
Tomova had the golden opportunity to reduce the deficit in the sixth game but an unfortunate double-fault on break point saw her losing the marathon 14-point game which gifted Potapova with the chance to serve out the set. The Russian overcome some adversities and eventually took the first set 6-1 after just a mere 26 minutes of play. Tomova often misfired her shots and committed 11 unforced errors while hitting past her opponent on just eight occasions, whereas, Potapova put up a clean performance with eight winners and six errors.
Potapova grabs just her second WTA win
Once again, it was Tomova who had the better start to the set as she opened the second set with an encouraging service hold, her first of the afternoon. For the first time in the encounter, Tomova was handed with the chance to consolidate her lead but Potapova was able to erase a break point before closing out the nervy service game with a stunning forehand winner.
From there, it became a one-way traffic with Potapova rattling off six consecutive games on the trot once more, a similar phenomenon as compared to the first set. The Russian seemed in unstoppable form after producing an unbelievable backhand return winner to earn the 2-1 lead.
She lost just two points on serve through the remainder of the match and Tomova failed to put up a tough resistance, ultimately handing the win to Potapova on a double-fault after just 51 minutes of action. Tomova did not find a winner in the second set, while the Russian youngster ended the affair with 19 winners and 12 unforced errors en route to grabbing the huge confidence-boosting win.