Peace leads Kindness in Charleston

Team Peace leads Team Kindness after Day 2 play at the Credit One Bank Invitational before, again, rain washed out play for the women on Wednesday. in Charleston, South Carolina.

Once I got out there I kind of caught my rhythm and was going for my shots more. I was definitely nervous yesterday because I didn't want to let my team down, and I'm playing for them too. I got some more practice in today and I came out playing really well. Amanda Anisimova

In the unsanctioned competition, captain Bethanie Mattek-Sands scored a singles victory over Monica Puig in a battle of Rio Olympic medalists on the green clay courts of Daniel Island to put Team Peace ahead before the event was cut short due to rain.

After Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Shelby Rogers, 6-1 6-2, to earn a point for Team Peace at the start of the day, putting Mattek-Sands’ team ahead 2-1 on the scoreboard, Amanda Anisimova bounced back for Team Kindness despite facing an opening-set deficit when she and Danielle Collins returned to the courts on Daniel Island.

Mattek-Sands, who won the mixed doubles in Rio then defeated Puig, 6-1 6-3, in the final completed match to put Team Peace up 3-2 overnight.

Puig, the Gold medallist at Rio 2016 was back on the match court for the first time since October, having undergone elbow surgery during the off-season and withdrawing from the Australian Open in January.

That the Puerto Rican felt a little rusty was understandable as she donated errors to a veteran opponent and mistimed shots.

Mattek-Sands, bringing some of her doubles prowess to this singles court, capitalised with a barrage of slices and drop shots and follow-up winners, timing her shots to perfection at times, and just after she converted match point, the court was pelted with rain in a downpour.

Amanda Anisimova levelled proceedings with a Team Kindness win over Danielle Collins

© Credit One Bank Invitational

Trailing 4-1 when heavy rain suspended play on Tuesday evening around 10:30 pm local time, teenager Amanda Anisimova returned with a flourish on Wednesday afternoon to win 6 of the first 7 games to turn the set around, and ultimately sealed a 7-5 6-4 victory over her fellow American.

“Once I got out there I kind of caught my rhythm and was going for my shots more,” Anisimova said.

“I was definitely nervous yesterday because I didn’t want to let my team down, and I’m playing for them too. I got some more practice in today and I came out playing really well.”

The difference lay in Anisimova’s return game and she caught Collins off guard right away on Day 2, breaking twice before Collins could stabilise on her serve.

By then a tone had been set, and while Collins settled into this two-part match, she could not turn the tide.

Anisimova saved some of her biggest returns for last and when Collins took a 15-0 lead at 4-4 in the second set, she struck winning returns to earn her the final break that she needed to close out the contest.

The first doubles match of the six-day exhibition tournament managed to take the court later in the evening, where Team Peace’s Collins & Eugenie Bouchard captured the first set from Anisimova & Sloane Stephens, 6-4.

The Team Kindness pair broke serve in the first game of the second set before rain ultimately suspended play for the night, putting 7 matches on top for Thursday’s session.

Ajla Tomljanovic put Team Peace up 2-1 at the start of the day with a win over local Shelby Rogers

© Credit One Bank Invitational

Earlier, Aussie Tomljanovic continued her return to the game with a drama-free straight-sets victory over Shelby Rogers, whose roots are well known, but her results at home have not been that great – aside from a quarter-final run in 2017, which included wins over Naomi Osaka and her captain, Madison Keys, she is just 3-6, including qualifying matches.

Much of the 16-player field in Charleston this week are getting their first competitive action since the tour was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Of the 12 players scheduled to compete on Day 2, just 6 were able to complete a match.

Those singles contests—all worth 1 point in the progressively increasing scoring system—are detailed below, along with Thursday’s revised schedule.

Thursday’s Schedule

  • Jennifer Brady (Team Peace) vs. Victoria Azarenka (Team Kindness) – 1 Point Match
  • Followed by: Eugenie Bouchard/Danielle Collins (Team Peace) lead Sloane Stephens/Amanda Anisimova (Team Kindness), 6-4, 0-1 to finish – 1 Point Match
  • FB: Caroline Dolehide (Team Peace) vs. Madison Keys (Team Kindness) – 1 Point Match
  • FB: Emma Navarro (Team Peace) vs. Alison Riske (Team Kindness) – 2 Point Match
  • FB: Eugenie Bouchard (Team Peace) vs. Leylah Fernandez (Team Kindness) – 2 Point Match
  • FB: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Sofia Kenin (Team Peace) vs. Victoria Azarenka/Madison Keys (Team Kindness) – 2 Point Match
  • FB: Ajla Tomljanovic (Team Peace) vs. Monica Puig (Team Kindness) – 2 Point Match

Tennis fans from Charleston, SC, watch the Credit One Bank Invitational on the Tennis Channel at the pop up drive-thru theatre at Terrace Theater in James Island, SC on Tuesday

© Mic Smith on behalf of Tennis Channel



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