WASHINGTON DC, USA - Olga Govortsova posted the most impressive scoreline of the seeded winners in first round play at the Citi Open on Monday.Watch Washington DC all week on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!
The eighth-seeded Belarusian came into this event having lost six of her last eight matches, but never faced a break point in her 57-minute, 62 62 rout of Karolina Pliskova. Next up for her is 18-year-old Eugénie Bouchard.
Third-seeded Sloane Stephens was looking for a confidence boost after falling in openers at her last two tournaments in Stanford and Carlsbad. "I told myself, 'You just can't ever lose three in a row. It's not even an option,'" she said.
It looked like another loss for the American was not a possibility when she jumped out to a 5-0 first set lead against Sesil Karatantcheva. She did have a second set lapse before securing two early breaks in the third set en route to a 63 26 61 triumph.
"I was playing pretty well and I think she was playing pretty well," Stephens said. "The second set was just a matter of a couple loose points. I was just a little bit more consistent in the end, and I think that's what carried me through."
Stephens praised the event, which is in its first year of having women compete the same week as the men at the William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center.
"It's a really great event. They get a lot of people here," Stephens said. "I think the fans really love that there's women's tennis now. There were a lot of people at my match, and I think that was a good turnout for 9:30 at night. Not only is it good for the women to get that support, but it's good for the tournament."
There were a couple of upsets, most notably second-seeded Chanelle Scheepers going down, 62 61, at the hands of Magdalena Rybarikova in a rematch of last September's Guangzhou final won by Scheepers. Interestingly enough, her victory over the World No.41 on Monday was Rybarikova's best win in terms of ranking since she defeated then-No.34 Jarmila Gajdosova in the quarterfinals of Guangzhou.
"I was playing my game and everything was going well," Rybarikova said. "I really played a very good match today."