Rouen | Pavlyuchenkova and Garcia get off the mark at WTA 250 in France

Top seeds Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Caroline Garcia kicked off their campaigns at the Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole, the WTA 250 tournament in France, with wins on Tuesday, while Anhelina Kalinina, Yuan Yue and Clara Burel also made it safely into round 2.

Pavlyuchenkova, ranked 22 and from Russia, produced an academic 6-2 6-2 win over French wild-card Alice Robbe, taking just 67 minutes advance to the 2nd-round, where she will meet Dutchwoman Aranxta Rus, who beat American qualifier Robin Montgomery, 6-3 6-1.

Local favourite Garcia, who is No 23 in the world, needed 3 sets to eventually find her feet on the indoor clay court against Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto, 6-1 3-6 7-5, after an hour and 55 minutes, having been down a break at 5-3 in the final set, but then winning the next 4 games to prevail.

Garcia awaits the winner of the 1st-round match between Anna Karolina Schmiedlova from Slovakia and another popular Frenchwoman, Diane Parry, who play on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Kalinina, the No 3 seed, was cruising past Alizé Cornet when the Frenchwoman took advantage of the Ukrainian’s momentary loss of focus while serving for the match at 6-4, 5-1, and proceeded to push her hard, and although she levelled at 5-5, Cornet could not quite force matters into a decider, losing 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 6 minutes on court.

Cornet dominated most of the stats but could not offset her 10 double-faults, while Kalinina played the cleaner game overall, ultimately winning 84 of the 161 points played.

China’s Yuan Yue, the 4th seed, also came through 2 tight sets against Mayer Sherif, 6-3 7-6(7), needing an hour and 56 minutes to get past the Egyptian, while Clara Burel, the 7th seed from France, eventually outplayed Ukraine’s Katerina Zavatska, 3-6 6-3 6-2, after 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Serbian qualifier Natalja Stevanonic had to battle with Anna Blinkova for 3 hours and 17 minutes before edging past the Russian 8th seed, 7-6(2) 3-6 7-6(2), and will meet Poland’s Magda Linette, who was a 7-5 6-1 winner over local wild-card Elsa Jacquemot on Tuesday.

2nd-seeded Caroline Garcia squeaked past Elisabetta Cocciaretto, coming from 3-5 down in the final set to win the next 4 games to prevail in Rouen.

British interest lies in the doubles, where Naiktha Bains & Maia Lumsden outplayed Russia’s Amina Anshba & Valeriya Strakhova from Ukraine, 3-6 6-4 [10-4], while Samantha Murray Sharan teamed up with Poland’s Katarzyna Piter to beat another Pole, Katarzyna Kawa & Biblane Schoofs from the Netherlands, 6-4 7-5 on Tuesday.

Olivia Nicholls failed to advance on Monday, though, when she and her partner, Blinkova, lost to the French combination of Cornet & Fiona Ferro, 6-2 7-6(4).

Also on Day 1, Hungary’s Timea Babos & Irina Khromacheva, the 2nd seeds, advanced with a 6-3 7-5 win over Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse & Sabrina Santamaria from the USA.

A general view of the main show court at the Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole




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