CHARLESTON, SC, USA - Rain once again caused a premature end to the order of play at the Credit One Bank Invitational, a non-WTA team exhibition event taking place on the green clay courts of Charleston, on Wednesday, but not before team captain Bethanie Mattek-Sands scored a singles victory to put her team ahead once more.
Mattek-Sands defeated Monica Puig, 6-1, 6-3, in the final completed match to put Team Peace ahead 3-2, after Amanda Anisimova drew Team Kindness, captained by Madison Keys, level by finishing off a two-day victory.
After Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Shelby Rogers, 6-1, 6-2, to earn a point for Team Peace to start the day, putting Mattek-Sands' team ahead 2-1 on the scoreboard, Anisimova bounced back despite facing an opening-set deficit when she and Danielle Collins returned to the courts on Daniel Island.
Trailing 4-1 when heavy rain suspended play on Tuesday evening around 10:30 p.m. local time, the teenager returned with a flourish on Wednesday afternoon.
The 2019 French Open semifinalist won six of the first seven games to turn the set around, and ultimately sealed a 7-5, 6-4 victory over her fellow American.
"Once I got out there I kind of caught my rhythm and was going for my shots more," Anisimova said.
"I was definitely nervous yesterday because I didn't want to let my team down, and I'm playing for them too. I got some more practice in today and I came out playing really well."
Up next, Mattek-Sands cruised to victory in a match between two Rio Olympic gold medalists. The decorated doubles star, winner of mixed doubles gold in Rio alongside Jack Sock, surrendered just four games to beat Puig, the Rio singles champion, 6-1, 6-3.
With much of the 16-player field in Charleston this week getting their first competitive action since the tour was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Puig was back on the match court for the first time since October.
After having offseason elbow surgery, Puig withdrew from the Australian Open in January - just the second major she's missed dating back to her Grand Slam main draw debut at the 2013 French Open.
It was at match point of Mattek-Sands' victory that the first bout of rain came, suspending play after three singles matches before the start of the evening session.
The first doubles match of the six-day exhibition tournament managed to take the court later in the evening, where Team Peace's Collins and Eugenie Bouchard captured the first set from Anisimova and Sloane Stephens, 6-4.
The Team Kindness pair broke serve in the first game of the second set before rain ultimately suspended play for the night, putting seven matches on top for tomorrow's session.
The doubles match, along with singles contests between Jennifer Brady (Team Peace) and Victoria Azarenka (Team Kindness) and Caroline Dolehide (Team Peace) and Keys (Team Kindness), are all worth one point towards the scoring system at the non-WTA team event.
Tomorrow's two-point matches will see Emma Navarro (Team Peace) vs. Alison Riske (Team Kindness); Bouchard (Team Peace) vs. Leylah Fernandez (Team Kindness) in an all-Canadian affair; Mattek-Sands and Sofia Kenin (Team Peace) vs. Azarenka and Keys (Team Kindness); and Tomljanovic (Team Peace) vs. Puig (Team Kindness).