MIAMI, FL, USA - Twenty more players battled through to the second round of the Sony Open Tennis on Wednesday, as the first round of the Premier Mandatory-level tournament came to a close.
Petrova, a former World No.3 currently at No.205 after injury and personal struggles over the last year, and a wildcard into this event, was the first to play, grinding past Urszula Radwanska in a two-hour, 32-minute marathon, 75 16 64. The Russian won just one more point in the match - 101 to 100.
So where is Petrova in her comeback? "It's actually a good question," she said. "I don't know. Some people think it's going to be hard to come back, especially from where I am right now. And at this stage of my career it's going to difficult. But on the other hand, with all the experience I have and the knowledge of important moments and when to take the initiative, it can be easier. I think it's 50-50.
"But I'm just taking it match by match. At the moment I'm lacking match play - it's been a long time since I've played a lot of matches in a row. It's as frustrating as it is challenging. But I'm just focusing on my game and the things I need to do out there on the court, and I think I'm going to be fine."
Shortly after Petrova took the court, former World No.4 - and former Sony Open Tennis finalist - Date-Krumm did the same, with an all-qualifier battle against Donna Vekic. Experience didn't pay off this time though - Vekic survived a tight first set then rolled against Date-Krumm in the second, 76(2) 62.
Later on in the day, former World No.9 Petkovic beat María-Teresa Torró-Flor in straight sets, 63 64.
A quartet of former Top 20 players were also in action, with Peng Shuai beating Karolina Pliskova, 75 60, and Virginie Razzano beating Heather Watson, 64 60, but Shahar Peer falling to Olga Govortsova after winning the first set, 26 60 63, and Zheng Jie falling to Christina McHale in straights, 64 62.
Peer, Peng, Zheng and Razzano have been as high as No.11, No.14, No.15 and No.16, respectively.
Other winners included Madison Keys, Yvonne Meusburger, Alison Riske, Lauren Davis, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Ajla Tomljanovic, Vania King, Paula Ormaechea, qualifiers Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, CoCo Vandeweghe, Zarina Diyas and Kiki Bertens and wildcard Rebecca Peterson.
Zhang Shuai, pictured above, actually fell to fast-rising young American Davis, 62 63.