First Round Kicks Off, Seeded Players Tested
Published August 01, 2011 12:00
CARLSBAD, CA, USA - The Mercury Insurance Open kicked off at the La Costa Resort & Spa on Monday, and it didn't take long for some drama. Both of the seeded players in action were pushed but were able to emerge victorious.
The first seed to play was No.16 seed Polona Hercog, who survived 10 double faults to make it past South African qualifier Natalie Grandin, 76(1) 26 64. Although it was a struggle, Hercog has now won 10 of her last 11 matches on the WTA, having gone 5-0 to win her first WTA title at Bastad and 4-1 the week later at Palermo (falling to Anabel Medina Garrigues in the final).
The other seed in action, No.9 seed Roberta Vinci, has also had a very strong run recently, winning three WTA titles this year at Barcelona, 's-Hertogenbosch and Budapest. She rallied from 63 42 down to get past Bojana Jovanovski, 36 64 61. The Italian has now won 14 of her last 16 matches on the WTA.
Other winners on Day 1 were Sofia Arvidsson, Elena Baltacha, Christina McHale, Vera Dushevina, Virginie Razzano, Zheng Jie, Vania King, Coco Vandeweghe, qualifier Jill Craybas and wildcard Alexa Glatch.
Glatch pulled off the biggest surprise of the day. Ranked No.155 herself, she rolled past No.42-ranked Ekaterina Makarova, 61 62. "I felt good. I thought I played pretty solid," Glatch said. "I don't think she had her best day today but I think I was able to capitalize on that. This is my first time playing at this tournament. The courts feel good and it's a good atmosphere out here."
Glatch next plays No.2 seed Andrea Petkovic. "Obviously it's going to be a very tough match," the American added. "She's a great player, the No.2 seed here. I'm going to need to play well. I'm looking forward to it though."
Razzano pulled off the biggest comeback of the day, beating Lucie Hradecka, 67(7) 76(5) 61. Hradecka had all kinds of leads in the second set - she led 4-1, had match point t 5-3 and even led 5-2 in the tie-break, but Razzano - a former Top 20 player trying to work her way back up the rankings - refused to let go.
At night, Vandeweghe beat Sorana Cirstea, 75 67(3) 63. "After breaking her at love to save out that second set I played a terrible tie-breaker," Vandeweghe said. "I wish I could have kept that momentum but I played some bad points and got down 5-0 in the tie-break. I'm so glad I bounced back quickly and broke her right away in the third. I'm glad I got it when I did. I served well in the end."