Oudin Moves Ahead, Dokic Into Main Draw
Published March 22, 2011 12:00
MIAMI, FL, USA - The qualifying wrapped up and the first round of the main draw kicked off on Tuesday at the $4.5-million Sony Ericsson Open.
Among the winners in main draw matches was American teenager Melanie Oudin, who held on in the first set and rolled through the second set to beat Germany's Julia Goerges, 75 63. Oudin let a 5-2 lead slip away early in the match but wound up closing the first set out anyway, 7-5, then held off the German to put it away in straight sets on Grandstand court, 75 63.
"Julia was missing a lot of balls at the beginning and I was just getting balls back; she started playing better and I got a little tight," Oudin said of the first set. "It was up and down a lot. She'd make errors then hit winners. I was pretty steady most of the match - I think we both could have played better."
Oudin will next take on No.29 seed Daniela Hantuchova, against whom she is 0-2 lifetime (although she won the first set in both of those meetings).
Goerges, ranked No.35, was one spot out of the seeds (Klara Zakopalova, the No.32 seed, was ranked No.34 in the world when the seeds were made).
In the most dramatic first round match of the day, Elena Baltacha came back from 1-3 in the second set and 0-4 in the third to pull off a 36 76(5) 76(5) victory over Sybille Bammer in just under three hours. "I can't believe I'm still part of the tournament," Baltacha said. "It was amazing. Somehow I managed to pull off the win. It tells me that mentally I'm very solid now. Every performance I have been strong in that department. It shows me how much I've improved."
Baltacha will play Zakopalova in the second round. Baltacha won their first meeting, all of 11 years ago at an ITF Circuit event; Zakopalova won their only other meeting, 61 62, earlier this year in Doha. "She played out of her skin," Baltacha said on Doha. "Hopefully she won't be able to do that again. She was on fire. I'll hang in there, get stuck in and hopefully revenge will be sweet."
Other first round winners were Ekaterina Makarova, Patty Schnyder, Iveta Benesova, Ayumi Morita, Zheng Jie, Monica Niculescu, Simona Halep, Johanna Larsson and wildcards Petra Martic and Sabine Lisicki.
Leading the qualifiers was Jelena Dokic, the No.1 seed in the qualies, who rallied from 63 30 down to beat American Christina McHale, 36 76(3) 62. Dokic is coming off her first WTA title in almost nine years, winning Kuala Lumpur a few weeks ago. The Australian's best results here were quarterfinal showings in 2001 (losing to Venus Williams) and 2003 (losing to Kim Clijsters).