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Toronto | Lepchenko upsets Ostapenko

Toronto | Lepchenko upsets Ostapenko

There was a bit of drama on the opening day of the WTA’s Rogers Cup in Toronto when the qualifier Varvara Lepchenko upset the reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko with Venus Williams also wobbling before reaching the second round.

I know I have powerful shots and I'm as good a player as her, so I knew I just had to give my best, and it would be a battle Varvara Lepchenko

Lepchenko battled hard to recover from the loss of the opening set and then complete a hard earned 1-6 7-6(2) 7-6(5) victory while the ninth seeded Williams after a solid start, wavered in the second set before going on to claim her 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory over Irina-Camelia Begu.

For the 31-year-old American Lepchenko, ranked 68th, it was her first win over a top 20-player this season. “I think I woke up, I was a little bit in the sleeping mode for a set and a half,” admitted Lepchenko, a former top-20 player herself. “All the credit to her, she played amazing tennis – she hardly missed any ball from the very beginning.

“Once I gave her a little push back, that’s when the game started. I pretty much focused on my game.

“I know I have powerful shots and I’m as good a player as her, so I knew I just had to give my best, and it would be a battle.”

Meanwhile Williams advances into the second round where she will face either another qualifier Mariane Duque-Marino or world number 40 Katerina Siniakova.

Elsewhere, two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, seeded 14th fended off Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1 7-6(5).

Top seed Karolina Pliskova and the defending champion Simona Halep, the second seed, were among the top eight players enjoying first-round byes.

In other early action, Czech Barbora Strycova upset 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-2 6-3.

She was joined by British qualifier Heather Watson who retired while trailing Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-1 4-1 with a shoulder injury.

Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens was up 6-2 when her Croatian opponent Ana Konjuh also retired, the victory sending Flipkens into a second-round meeting with Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.

About The Author

Henry Wancke

Henry Wancke is one of the most respected Tennis writers in the UK. Henry is the Editor of both Tennis Threads Magazine and tennisthreads.net. He previously worked as Editor of Tennis World, Serve & Volley as well as Tennis Today magazines and been stringer for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Press Association. He also co-authored the Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Tennis with John Parsons published by Carlton, and the Federation Cup – the first 32 years, published by the ITF. Currently he is the Secretary of the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association and Hon Vice President of the Tennis Industry Association UK.

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