MALLORCA, Spain – Darkness in Mallorca left play suspended as the No.1 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was locked in a third set against Spanish favorite Sara Sorribes Tormo, leading by a break 4-6, 7-5, 3-2.
Sorribes Tormo employed her tricky style of play against the Russian, and it paid off right away as she raced ahead 4-1 in the first set. Pavlyuchenkova kept her under pressure the whole time, though, and finally broke through to level the score 4-4. But it proved to be in vain as the Spaniard struck once again to break for the opening set.
Pavlyuchenkova put the narrow loss behind her heading into the second, getting ahead a double break go up 5-1, looking set to comfortably serve out the set.
But once again Sorribes Tormo made things complicated for the Russian, reeling off four games in a row to put them back on level terms. Pavlyuchenkova finally got ahead in the end after winning a marathon 10-minute game to break the Spaniard’s serve, needing six break points to get the job done, and then clinching the second set.
Pavlyuchenkova started off the decider with a break in the third game, but nightfall descended on Mallorca leaving play suspended with the Russian leading 3-2 after two hours and 19 minutes. The pair will be back out on court tomorrow to resume the match.
Kristyna Pliskova and Anastasija Sevastova did make it into the second round in Mallorca after tough three set battles. Pliskova took down No.8 seed Timea Babos, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and No.2 seed Sevastova fought past Mertens 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-1.