This post covers all that has happened in the first three days of the tournaments in Stanford and Washington DC, where the headlines acts involved Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Maria Sharapova. I didn’t get to watch much tennis at all so most of them are about tweets!
Let’s start with Washington action… In the only women’s match on Day 2, Simona Halep defeated wildcard Sloane Stephens in the latter’s first hardcourt match since the Olympics last year. The players were scheduled to play in the blazing afternoon sun and the stats showed how terrible was the conditions…
Here are extended ‘high’-lights of the match, mostly unforced errors though…
Halep will play Mariana Duque-Marino in the second round. The Romanian also revealed in her press conference that Stanford didn’t offer her a wildcard so she went to DC, which was a little strange!
An up and comer in the game is Aryna Sabalenka, a hard-hitting Belarusian who secured the vital win earlier this year in Fed Cup to secure Belarus’ spot in the final. The World No.121 scored a huge upset over last year’s finalist Lauren Davis on the first day. Sabalenka is a huge server and absolutely crushes the ball on every groundstroke, much like Camila Giorgi. She will play Sabine Lisicki in round 2, who is still on the comeback trail and beat a Greece qualifier in her opener.
I haven’t got to watch much tennis at all because the timezone is just horrible and less and less people are uploading Youtube streams. I may be able to get WTA TV soon, hopefully by this week! Three quarterfinalists were already confirmed when I was sleeping and they were Ekaterina Makarova, Oceane Dodin and Julia Goerges. The last two matches were a real treat I guess…
Now on to the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford! On Day 1, Maria Sharapova announced her return back to the tour once again after a three-set win over Jennifer Brady. Her serve looked quite laboured and only managed to get 52% of returns into.play, winning only 58% of service points. The reason could have been because of injury, as two days later she withdrew from her match against Lesia Tsurenko, handing the Ukranian a walkover.
Other than Sharapova, there were many big names on Centre Court in Stanford. Garbine Muguruza notched a surprisingly comfortable 58 minute win over Kayla Day. Muguruza was looking great, seemingly not feeling the pressure this time and with her new Babolat racquet in store. With Sharapova out of the way now, Muguruza has a high chance of emerging as the champion this year.
Two young stars, Madison Keys and Ana Konjuh, took different routes to reach the quarterfinal stage. Keys took the scenic route as she recovered from an error-strewn first set to beat qualifier Caroline Dolhide in three sets. Konjuh won in straight sets but it wasn’t that easy either as she defeated Natalia Vikhlyantseva 7-5 6-4.
So all four seeds in the top half are into the quarterfinals! It feels a little strange with the WTA always prone to upsets. Anyway, top seed Garbine Muguruza will face Ana Konjuh while Madison Keys meets Lesia Tsurenko with the latter fresh having not needed to hit a single ball. Tomorrow’s schedule is intriguing with my favourite match being Riske-Pavlyuchenkova… Who you got? As usual, remember to check out my daily predictions to check out my thoughts about the matches.
Lastly, jumping back to last week, Katerina Siniakova and Peng Shuai captured their second titles of their careers in Bastad and Nanchang respectively. Caroline Wozniacki has officially lost five out of five finals in 2017!