Cincinnati | Muguruza leads exit of top players
Defending champion Garbine Muguruza, playing for the first time since losing in the second round of her Wimbledon title defence, fell 2-6 6-4 6-4 to Lesia Tsurenko in Cincinnati in her build up to the last major of the season, the US Open which kicks off later this month.
At the end she managed to come back in the third set and play better and found a way to win the match, Garbine Muguruza
“It was a very ugly match, but I’m happy that I fought, even if the level wasn’t very high,” said Muguruza, who got a late start to her preparations because of an arm injury.
“At the end she managed to come back in the third set and play better and found a way to win the match,” said Muguruza, who was at least pleased to report that she played without any pain in her arm.
Simona Halep’s match was halted when the rain forced her match with Australian qualifier Ajla Tomljanovic to be suspended with the score line on a knife edge, 4-6 6-3 3-3 in her favour.
Halep had regained some momentum after falling two breaks down in the third set. Both women required medical attention, so the suspension will probably give them time to recuperate for the match’s resumption.
Second seeded Caroline Wozniacki, however, retired with a left knee injury after losing the first 6-4 to Kiki Bertens and, with her opening round loss a week ago in Montreal, her preparations for Flushing Meadow have certainly been hit.
Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, the fourth seed, claimed her 40th win of the season, but she had to recover from a set down and needed two chances to serve for a 4-6 7-5 6-4 victory over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
“This was really a match where I was fighting after the first set to coming back,” Kerber said. “It was an important match to get my rhythm, feel the ball, especially now after few weeks off.”
US Open champion Sloane Stephens cruised into the third round 6-3 6-2 over German qualifier Tatjana Maria while Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus continued her successful tournament debut, beating ninth seed Karolina Pliskova 2-6 6-3 7-5. Australian 16th seed Ashleigh Barty defeated Estonian Kaia Kanepi 7-5 6-3.