Stevenson Stuns Arvidsson In Memphis
Published February 14, 2011 11:59
Zahlavova Strycova, the No.1 seed, was the first of the two to fall first round, losing to Michaella Krajicek, 61 63. The No.151-ranked Krajicek showed some of the form that once saw her rank in the world's Top 30, breaking serve five times and rolling past the feisty Czech in just an hour and 10 minutes.
The No.2-seeded Arvidsson followed Zahlavova Strycova to the sidelines later in the afternoon, succumbing to former Top 20 player Alexandra Stevenson in just 58 minutes, 63 61. Stevenson, a lucky loser into the main draw, fired six aces and controlled the baseline exchanges with her big forehand.
Stevenson burst into prominence 12 years ago at Wimbledon, going all the way to her first Grand Slam semifinal, then a few years later established herself in the Top 20. But it has been a tough road for her since then, struggling mainly with her shoulder. "Technically in tennis years, I'm 24," Stevenson, now 30, commented. "Unfortunately my shoulder stopped me from getting into the Top 10 when I was 22, 23. I didn't like my 20s. I'm happy to be 30."
Stevenson's win over No.58 Arvidsson was her first win over a Top 60 player since 2003. "I know I could come back, it just took a lot of years. Technology is better, people are healthier and you can really play as long as you want."
American teenager Melanie Oudin, this week's No.3 seed, salvaged the day for the favorites with a 64 60 win over Anastasia Pivovarova. Pivovarova led 4-2 in the first set when the match turned, with Oudin winning the last 10 games in a row, and they weren't even close - Oudin won 40 of the last 50 points.
"I'm really happy to be back in Memphis and about the match," Oudin said. "I'm trying to be more aggressive. At the beginning I wasn't missing by too much so I knew it could turn around. But I'm trying to take it one match at a time too."
The other two seeds in action had mixed results. No.5 seed Olga Govortsova lost to qualifier Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, 63 46 64, while No.6 seed Rebecca Marino of Canada fired seven aces past Jamie Hampton to prevail, 64 61.
Evgeniya Rodina, Anne Keothavong, Sorana Cirstea, Ksenia Pervak and Lucie Hradecka also scored first round wins. Rodina had the toughest match of all, rallying from 2-5 in the third set to beat Ajla Tomljanovic, 16 60 76(5).