NEW YORK, NY, USA - Top seed Jil Teichmann was back to her winning ways and Leylah Fernandez scored a big upset as the first day of qualifying wrapped up at the Western & Southern Open in New York.
Relocated from Cincinnati to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens to form part of the New York City “bubble” along with the US Open, the Western & Southern Open kicked off on Thursday with plenty of qualifying action, upsets and home success.
Swiss player Teichmann, the No.1 seed, took the court against Aliona Bolsova as she aimed to keep the momentum going after her run at the Top Seed Open presented by Bluegrass Orthopaedics. Teichmann sits at a career high World No.54 after Lexington, where she powered into her third WTA final without dropping a set before falling to Jennifer Brady.
In New York, Teichmann broke Bolsova five times and fired three aces en route to a 6-2, 6-2 victory in just 62 minutes. She will take on American Shelby Rogers in the second round, after the No.22 seed took down Margarita Gasparyan 6-3, 7-6(3) to advance. It will be a rematch of their Lexington semifinal, which saw Teichmann post a 6-3, 6-2 victory en route to the final.
Meanwhile, Canadian teen Fernandez continued her breakout year with an early upset over the No.2-seeded Anna Blinkova in straight sets. Fernandez reached her first career WTA final at Acapulco in February before the tour’s shutdown, and took down Blinkova in New York, 6-1, 6-4 to advance. She faces No.24 seed Kristie Ahn in the next round, after the American rolled past Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-4, 6-0.
Elsewhere in the qualifying draw, American players lead the action with eight players advancing into the second round. American wildcards Katie Volynets, Catherine Dolehide and Cici Bellis earned hard-fought victories, with Volynets turning around a one-set deficit to defeat No.19 seed Monica Puig 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3, Dolehide fighting past No.23 Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 2-6. 6-4, and Bellis knocking out No.13 seed Madison Brengle 6-3, 7-6(4).
No.14 Jessica Pegula is also through to the second round after a victory over Varvara Gracheva, 7-5, 7-6(8), joining No.5 Laura Siegemund who defeated Kateryna Kozlova 6-0, 7-5, No.6 Daria Kasatkina who fought past Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-0 and No.18 seed Christina McHale who defeated Usue Arconada 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
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