ACAPULCO, México - It didn't take long for the first few surprises at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, with two of the three seeds in action on Day 1 of the International-level tournament getting knocked out.
No.6 seed Bojana Jovanovski was the fortunate one, winning a tight two-setter against Tornado Black in the American teen's WTA main draw debut, 64 75. But No.4 seed Magdalena Rybarikova fell to Ajla Tomljanovic, 61 63, and No.7 seed Stefanie Voegele lost to Kimiko Date-Krumm, 36 76(5) 64.
Voegele had her chances - after winning the first set she led 4-2 in the second set, served for the match at 5-4, and, after dropping the second set, even built a 4-1 lead in the third. But to no avail.
"It was a very, very tough match - it wasn't only about how long it was, it was also very humid today," Date-Krumm said. "I like playing when it's a little bit humid out, but here's it's a little bit too much!
"But Stefanie's a tough player. She's very strong, she has a good serve and never gives up. It wasn't easy when she was leading, but I just tried to fight until the end and I'm happy I could win today."
This is Date-Krumm's first time playing the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL. That might be surprising given she's one of the most experienced veterans on the tour, but there was no women's draw here when she was in her first career - and there's another reason she hadn't played here in her second career.
"Many times so many players told me this is the best tournament on the WTA, but it was always on clay, which isn't my favorite surface!" she said. "This year they changed it to hardcourts, luckily, so I'm here. But it's still very difficult because the bounce is very high, and it's a pretty slow hardcourt.
"But it's better than clay for me!"
The final round of qualifying also took place, with Madison Keys, Sharon Fichman, Ashleigh Barty and Vicky Duval all moving through to the main draw. Barty rolled past Lesia Tsurenko in straights, 60 62, a stark contrast to her win in the second round of qualies - she just edged Lauren Davis, 26 63 75.
"My match against Lauren was scratchy to begin with, but I found my range," Barty said. "Then today I played well. It's really nice to fight your way through a few matches and get a fourth singles match."
And on Acapulco? "It's amazing," the Australian said. "We're so lucky to come to tournaments like these. This is unbelievable - the courts are right next to the hotel and there's a great beach as well. It's perfect to wake up to the sound of waves crashing down and the music going pretty much all day."