London | WTA Roundup – Boulter sets up Bencic in Tallinn as Sakkari rallies in Parma

Tallin | WTA 250 Tallinn Open

British No 6 Katie Boulter qualified for the main draw and extended her run by reaching the 2nd-round with an impressive 6-3 6-1 win over Romanian Jaqueline Cristian at the Forus Tennis Centre on Monday.

I got stung by a bee at 4-4 in the 3rd set during my match today and it was not a pleasant experience. Do not recommend. Sloane Stephens

Currently ranked 145, Boulter set up a contest with Swiss No 2 seed Belinda Bencic, who powered past Estonian wild-card Elena Malygina, 6-0 6-2, in an hour and 16 minutes.

Bencic kept a clean sheet in the first set, although she did have to rescue 2 break points against the Estonian, but in the second, Malygina broke her after the Swiss had thwarted 5 earlier chances, but it was the last game that the local wild-card too as Bencic strung together 3 games in a row to land the match.

Bencic fired 5 aces but also coughed up 5 double-faults, while Malygina went 1 and 3 respectively, and the Swiss also made 7 out of 10 break points as well as saving 9 out of the 11 she faced in the match.

Swiss compatriot Viktorija Golubic upset American 4th-seed Madison Keys, 6-3 6-2, while Barbora Krejcikova, the No 7 seed from the Czech Republic, was the only other seeded player in action on Day 1, advancing with a 6-1 7-6(3) win over Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.

Tomljanovic, who committed 8 double-faults by the end of the encounter, had a chance to serve out the second set at 6-5, but Krejcikova pulled herself out of the difficult situation and won the match in a quick final tiebreak game.

Keys was US Open 2017 finalist and has reached the semi-finals of the Australian twice, including this year, as well as the French Open in 2018, while Golubic was a surprise semi-finalist at last year’s Wimbledon Championships.

Although Golubic was broken at the start of the match, she returned the favour twice in each set, in a match which lasted an hour and 17 minutes, the Swiss winning 56 percent of her second service points, compared with 30 percent for the American.

Other winners on the opening day of the hard court event included Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, who battled past another American, Bernarda Pera, 6-4 4-6 6-3, and the Czechs Karolina Muchova and Linda Noskova.

Muchova dispatched French qualifier Jessika Ponchet, 6-0 6-2, and will play Golubic in round 2, while 17-year old Noskova had to come from behind to get past another Frenchwoman, Diane Parry, 2-6 6-3 6-4, to set up a meeting with fellow countrywoman Krejcikova next.

Meanwhile, top seed Anett Kontaveit, the World No 4, who opens here on Tuesday, has been practising with fellow Estonian Kaia Kanepi, a legend in this land at 37 years of age and still going strong on tour, ranked 32 in the world but unseeded at the Tallinn Open.

Kontaveit face Wang Xiyu from China, the World No 58, while Kanepi is drawn against Latvia’s 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, ranked 19.

Ostapenko however, picked up a leg injury while playing in the final of the Korean Open on Sunday, which may cause here to withdraw from the tournament.

If so, a lucky loser from the qualifying round will be given a second chance to face Kanepi.

Top seed Maria Sakkari came from a set down to get past Kateryna Baindl in the 1st-round of the Parma Ladies Open on Monday

© Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Parma | WTA 250 Parma Ladies Open

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece rallied for a 6-7(2) 6-2 6-3 win over Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl in the 1st-round of the Parma Ladies Open on Monday.

Sakkari offset 7 aces with 8 double-faults but managed to save 6 of 9 break points in the 2 hour, 45-minute match on the red clay in Italy.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens, the 4th-seed from America, also came from behind for a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win against Poland’s Magdalena Frech, overcoming a bee sting as well as a difficult opponent in her Parma opener.

It was late in the third set that Stephens was stung, which caused some discomfort but did not stop her completing the match, and winning it.

“I got stung by a bee at 4-4 in the 3rd set during my match today and it was not a pleasant experience,” Stephens tweeted later. “Do not recommend.”

Frech put pressure on Stephens’ serve early on, but the American saved a break point in the 2nd game to avoid going down by an early break, but she couldn’t save another and Frech opened up a 4-2 lead before routinely holding on to her serve to win the opener.

Stephens started the second set with back-to-back breaks to build a 4-0 lead and although Frech cut the deficit to 4-1, the 4th seed earned her 3rd break to move ahead 5-1 lead.

Frech refused to quit, though, and clawed one break back to cut the deficit to 5-3, but Stephens held firm to force a decider.

The first break of the third set was seen in the 7th game when Stephens broke Frech for a 4-3 lead but, after the bee sting, the Pole broke back to level at 4-4.

Stephens kept her focus and she broke Frech again before serving out for the match in the following game.

Meanwhile, No 6 seed Ana Bogdan of Romania breezed to a 6-1 6-2 win over Brazil’s Laura Pigossi, while American Lauren Davis was a 7-5 7-5 winner against Italy’s Sara Errani and Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova defeated Hungary’s Reka-Luca Jani, 6-2 6-4.



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