WTA Roundup: Strasbourg & Rabat WTA 250s

In addition to qualifying for the French Open, there are 2 WTA 250 tournaments being played in Strasbourg and Rabat this week, as the big guns rest and practice ahead of Roland Garros, which starts on Sunday.

I think it was an unbelievable match today. I was 6-4, 2-0 down, so it was not easy to come back from that, and I found the game, so I’m really, really happy. Liudmila Samsonova

The highest ranked player in action is Market Vondrousova, the World No 6, who leads the field at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, where Beatriz Haddad Maia is seeded second.

Rain, though, played havoc with the schedule in northeastern France on Tuesday, with only one 2nd-round match completed, that of Liudmila Samsonova, the 5th seed from Russia, who ended the day with a 4-6 6-4 6-2 come-back win over Canada’s Leylah Fernandez.

“I think it was an unbelievable match today,” Samsonova said afterwards. “I was 6-4, 2-0 down, so it was not easy to come back from that, and I found the game, so I’m really, really happy.”

Samsonova is the only player to reach the Last 8 so far, as the other matches scheduled for Tuesday – No 3 seed Danielle Collins from USA against Czech. Katerina Siniakova, Fiona Ferro from France versus Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina, and No 7 seed and defending champion Elina Svitolina, another Ukrainian facing Clara Burel, another Frenchwoman – were all postponed until Wednesday, after rain delayed Tuesday’s start of play by 6 hours.

Samsonova, the World No 19, and 33rd-ranked Fernandez started their match well into the afternoon, and it hit a brief snag when the rain returned at 4-4 in the first set.

That interruption lasted only 50 minutes, and on resumption, left-handed Fernandez came out firing, winning 4 games in a row to take a 6-4, 2-0 lead.

The Russian then turned the second set around, pulling off a 4-game run of her own to lead 4-2, and 4 games later, a drop-shot winner enabled Samsonova to level the match.

Using her power game to pull away in the third, Samsonova produced a forehand winner to gain a break for 2-1, and her service returns were fiery as she extended her lead to 4-1.

Serving for the match at 5-2, she stared down 3 break points, but held off Fernandez’s last chances and triumphed after 2 hours and 26 minutes of play.

Samsonova will discover her quarter-final opponent on Wednesday, who will be the winner of the match between Haddad Maia and American Emma Navarro.

“I hope to have another great match,” Samsonova said. “Every [round] the opponent is every time tougher, so let’s see. I hope to play a good game. That’s my goal.”


28-year old qualifier Camilla Rosatello upset top seed Yuan Yue in the 1st-round of the Grand Prix De Son Altesse Royale La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Rabat

WTAtennis.com

Meanwhile, in Rabat at the Grand Prix De Son Altesse Royale La Princesse Lalla Meryem, China’s Yuan Yue, ranked 38, is the top seed, and Anna Blinkova, ranked 45 and from Russia, the second seed, and both lost their opening encounters on Monday.

Italian qualifier Camilla Rosatello outlasted Yuan, 7-6(7) 1-6 6-4, while Germany’s Laura Siegemund upset Blinkova, 6-1 7-6(4).

28-year-old Rosatello, who is No 294, was facing a Top 50 player for the first time in her career, and saved 12 set points before winning the 75-minute first set, en route to just her second tour-level singles win.

Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain proved too hot to handle by Britain’s Harriet Dart on Sunday, who went down in her opener, 6-2 6-0.

The Spanish No 3 seed then advanced to the quarter-finals with a tight 7-5 3-6 6-3 win over Argentine Nadia Podoroska on Tuesday.

Another Argentine, Maria Lourdes Carle, upset 5th-seeded Arantxa Rus from the Netherlands, 6-3 6-3, in a 1st-round match played on Tuesday.

Unseeded Wang Yafan came from 2-0 down in the 3rd set to upset her Zhu Lin, the No 8 seed, 4-6 6-0 6-2, winning the last 6 games of the match to improve to 5-4 overall against her Chinese compatriot.





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