This is a new feature on my blog – I’ll do round-ups for the WTA tour every week including results, stats and updates on the players! The Roundup series kicks off with tournaments in Birmingham and Mallorca, the second week of the grass court season. Read on to find out who claimed victories on Day 1 of the Aegon Classic and Mallorca Open…
The Aegon Classic Birmingham kicked off with a thrilling three-setter with Naomi Osaka, claiming her first victory in six matches against Lauren Davis 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(4). Osaka won the first set pretty comfortably, booming down first serves and even almost broke the record…
In a turn, Davis won the second set 6-2 with little resistance from Osaka as the Japanese player failed to save two break points in two Osaka service games. The third set was kind of messy, Davis was serving for the match at 5-4 and was just two points away for the match! Osaka then plummeted a backhand crosscourt which just hit the line, that point was the key as the World No.61 broke back and claimed her victory over the American in the third set tiebreak. An interesting stat to take note was that neither of them were able to save break points, both players combined for nine breaks in 11 break point opportunities!
I managed to watch the first two sets of Elina Svitolina taking on Heather Watson; there is an awesome YouTube account who occasionally posts WTA live streams! You can find it here. Svitolina took the first set 6-2 with Watson unable to get the ball over the net in those crucial rallies! The Ukranian once again drew first blood, leading 4-2 after a marathon game where she saved four break points. I wasn’t able to watch from then on, but apparently Watson upped her aggression and reeled off three straight games to force the match into a decider, where the Brit was unable to conjure up any break points opportunities which allowed Svitolina to steamroll through the match.
Barbora Strycova notched a seemingly drama-free match over Yulia Putintseva, 6-3 6-3. Strycova now has a 13-5 record in Birmingham and has reached the finals twice here before. Naomi Broady was also a winner on Day 1, beating Alize Cornet in straights, including a second set bagel!
Birmingham qualifying is over with Czech Marketa Vondrousova recording her 54th match win of the year, beating Aoyama, Naydenova and Smitkova enroute to the main draw. Hsieh Su-Wei continues her great form as she cruised past Ipek Soylu, while Camila Giorgi ends up playing Natalia Vikhlyantseva in a huge hitting match-up.
There are also many intriguing doubles teams in Birmingham! Olympic bronze medalists Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova team up once again, while Sania Mirza who hasn’t won a doubles title since Brisbane this year pairs up with CoCo Vandeweghe! Last week’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch doubles champion Dominika Cibulkova plays with Garbine Muguruza, and Alize Cornet and Yulia Putintseva play together; doubles drama at its best!
Over to Mallorca, Anastasija Sevastova recorded her first grass court victory of the year over Elise Mertens 7-6(2) 5-7 6-1. Big serving was the key for the Latvian as she won 92% of first serve points in the third set enroute to inflicting a breadstick onto Mertens. The match featured 13 breaks of serve!
Kristyna Pliskova defeated Timea Babos in three sets, hitting 13 aces and winning 80% of first serve points. Winning 65% of second serve points was even more impressive! Babos has now lost her sixth straight match and will likely miss out on a Wimbledon seeding.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova lead 4-6 7-5 3-2 over Sara Sorribes Tormo before play was suspended due to darkness.
Qualifying action also wrapped up in the Spanish city as Anna Kalinskaya, Jana Cepelova, Kirsten Flipkens, Veronica Cepede Royg, Ons Jabeur and Beatrice Haddad Maia progressed to the main draw.
Day 2’s OOP for Birmingham is out with Petra Kvitova returning to her beloved grass, while doubles partners here, Cibulkova and Muguruza, try to turn their sub-par seasons around against Lucie Safarova and Kulichkova respectively.
Featured image taken for Jimmie48 Photography 🙂