As the US Open kicks off in New York with its qualifying competition, and the big stars practise ahead of the start of the main draw next Monday, two WTA 250 tournaments provide match play for the so-called ‘in-betweeners’ in Granby, Canada, and Cleveland, Ohio.
I've been on tour for 15 years, and played a lot of matches, so I’m proud of getting 500 wins. I thought about it at the beginning of the season as a short-term goal, and here we are in August. It meant something to me. Alizé Cornet
Granby | WTA 250 Championnats Banque Nationale de Granby
No 1 seed Daria Kasatkina from Russia survived a scare in Quebec when she dropped the 1st-set tiebreak before coming back to win a marathon over Belgium’s Greet Minnen, 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2, on Monday in 1st-round action at the Championnats Banque Nationale de Granby.
Despite Kasatkina coughing up 12 double-faults and Minnen serving 5 aces, the top seed saved 6 of 10 break points during the 2-hour and 57-minute contest.
Britain’s Harriet Dart was in action on Sunday when she beat Belgian Maryna Zanevska, 6-4 7-5, and will take on Nuria Parrizas Diaz, the 5th seed, on Tuesday, after the Spaniard was an easy winner over Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson, 6-2 6-1.
Two seeds have pulled out, Alison Van Uytvanck, seeded 2 from Belgium, with a back injury, and Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti, the No 8 seed, due to a change in schedule, making way for the elevation of Australia’s Daria Saville to No 9, and Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine to No 10 in the draw.
Saville got off the mark on Sunday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Slovenia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, while Kostyuk beat Tamara Zidansek from Romania, 6-1 7-5, on Monday.
Third seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy was tested by lucky loser Himeno Sakasume from Japan, but prevailed 7-6(6) 6-4.
Elsewhere, 4th seed Anna Bondar of Hungary, and 8th seed Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic both won their matches in straight sets, but Kaja Juvan, the Slovenian 7th seed, bowed out early, falling 7-5 6-3 to Canadian qualifier Cadence Brace.
There was more Canadian success on Day 1, with Rebecca Marino dispatching compatriot Victoria Mboko, a wild-card, 6-3 6-3, and Marina Stakusic, who also had to qualify, outlasting Aussie Jaimee Fourlis, 4-6 6-3 6-2.
Also advancing to round 2 were France’s Diane Parry, who defeated Swiss Lulu Sun, 6-4 6-2, and China’s Xiyu Wang, a 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-2 winner over American alternate Jamie Loeb.
Cleveland | WTA 250 Tennis in the Land presented by motorola edge
A trio of Americans followed top seed Barbora Krejcikova into the 2nd-round in Ohio, with Sofia Kenin notching up a win over local qualifier, Dalayna Hewitt, 6-4 6-3, while Madison Brengle outlasted Russia’s Varvara Gracheva, 6-3 4-6 7-5, and Bernarda Pera was an easy winner over Japanese qualifier Eri Hozumi, 6-1 6-2.
Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion who received a wild-card into the tournament, has been plagued by injuries since her triumph in Melbourne, but snapped an 8-match losing streak that began in January at Adelaide, Australia, and meets 5th-seeded Irina-Camila Begu from Romania next.
Krejikova, the Czech who has dropped to World No 23 this week after a career-best ranking of No 2 in February because of injury, dispatched another American, lucky loser Francesca Di Lorenzo, 6-3 6-1, and will take on Pera next.
Alizé Cornet, the 8th seed from France, picked up her 500th victory on the WTA Tour, beating Dayana Yastremska from Ukraine, 6-2 6-1, on Monday, completing their match which was suspended by thunderstorms on Sunday.
“I’ve been on tour for 15 years, and played a lot of matches, so I’m proud of getting 500 wins,” said Cornet, whose career record is 500-410. “I thought about it at the beginning of the season as a short-term goal, and here we are in August. It meant something to me.”
The 32-year-old made her tour debut in 2005 at Roland Garros and has won 6 singles titles, the most recent at Gstaad in Switzerland 4 years ago.
Cornet, ranked 37, held every service game in the 1-hour, 12-minute match against Yastremska, with a set played on each day.
“I’m happy to get this one under my belt, for sure,” Cornet said after the match on Monday. “I played better today.
“My shots were deeper and I was more aggressive. I hope the journey here is not over and I can keep playing a lot more matches.”
Meanwhile, Italian No 2 seed Martina Trevisan rallied for a 2-6 6-2 6-4 win over Egypt’s Mayar Sherif in her 1st-round match and will meet China’s Zhang Shuai in round 2, who took out Krejcikova’s doubles partner, Katerina Siniakova, 6-2 6-1.
Trevisan committed 9 double-faults without recording an ace, but still won on the strength of nailing two-thirds of her first-service points, 36 of 54, and converting 5 of her 9 break-point chances.
Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain and Camila Osorio of Colombia finished up a match that also was suspended on Sunday due to the weather, with the Spaniard prevailing 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 in 3 hours and 54 minutes.
Other winners on Monday included German qualifier Laura Siegemund, who got past Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine, 6-2 4-6 6-2, while Magda Linette of Poland saw off Kazakstan’s Yulia Putintseva, 6-4 6-2.
Denmark’s 19-year old Clara Tauson mastered the trickiness of Harmony Tan, 6-3 6-1, the French qualifier who mesmerised Serena Williams at Wimbledon, and Sorana Cirstea from Romania beat lucky loser Marcela Zacarias from Mexico, 6-2 6-3, a replacement for No 4 seed Elise Mertens who withdrew due to an upper thigh injury,
Cincy champion Caroline Garcia was another withdrawal from Cleveland, the Frenchwoman, who was due to be seeded 6 here, cited a left thigh injury as the reason but, after winning 8 straight matches from qualifying to the WTA 1000 Western & Southern title on Sunday in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, this was unsurprising.
In a night match, 3rd-seed Ekaterina Alexandrova from Russia battled past American Lauren Davis, 4-6 6-2 6-4, after 2 hours and 9 minutes under the lights, disappointing the crowd since Davis grew up in nearby Gates Mills, Ohio.