Guadalajara | Stephens wins opener but Keys stumbles

Products You May Like

The Abierto Akron Zapopan kicked off in Guadalajara on Monday, with Sloane Stephens cruising past 14-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova from the Czech Republic, while fellow American Madison Keys fell at the first hurdle.

The first pro I played was [Vera] Zvonareva. I got whooped, but it was a good experience! [Fruhvirtova] was probably a bit nervous. She’s a great player, has great results. [I’m] looking forward to seeing what she does in the future. Sloane Stephens

At 14 years and 331 days old, Fruhvirtova was the youngest player to compete in a WTA main draw match since April 2009, when Keys played at Ponte Vedra Beach aged 14 years, 54 days, while Stephens, seeded 6th, was looking for her first win of the year.

The American’s experience and heavier hitting from the baseline saw her win through, 6-2 6-2, against the qualifier, who is half her age, in just 58 minutes.

Fruhvirtova, who trains at the Mouratoglou Academy, became the youngest ITF champion in 6 years by winning back-to-back titles at 25K events in Argentina, and extended her winning streak to 14 matches by fighting past Italy’s Sara Errani and Leonie Kung from Switzerland in Guadalajara qualifying over the weekend.

The 14-year old acquitted herself well in her first main draw experience, staying toe-to-toe with Stephens in the opening stretches, and holding her first two service games, but the former US Open champion maintained her composure to break her the Czech 4 times across the 2 sets for a comfortable win.

“The first pro I played was [Vera] Zvonareva,” said Stephens after the match. “I got whooped, but it was a good experience!

“[Fruhvirtova] was probably a bit nervous. She’s a great player, has great results. [I’m] looking forward to seeing what she does in the future.”

With her first win of the year under her belt, Stephens stays on track for a blockbuster quarter-final rematch with another teenager, fellow US Open winner Emma Raducanu from Great Britain, who could await in the last 8, should both players advance.

Stephens faced Raducanu in the first round of the Australian Open earlier this year, falling 6-0 2-6 6-1, but she must get past either qualifier Rebeka Masarova from Spain or France’s Chloe Paquet, who play in the second round on Tuesday, while Raducanu is set to start her Guadalajara campaign against Daria Saville on Tuesday night.

The World No 12, who lost in the second round of the Australian Open in January, is the top seed at the WTA 250 event, and Saville, currently ranked 621 but who has been as high as 20 in 2017, will be her first opponent since her defeat to Danka Kovinic at Melbourne Park.

If the 19-year-old comes through the first round, she will meet Zhu Lin from China or American qualifier Caroline Dolehide in round two.

Fourth seed Camila Osorio from Colombia and 8th seed Zheng Qinwin from China are the other seeds in the top half, and they were projected to meet in the quarter-final with the winner potentially facing either Raducanu or Stephens in the semi-final, but Zheng was beaten on Monday.

The 2nd seed was American Madison Keys, who stumbled to France’s Harmony Tan on Monday, losing her opener, 6-4 1-6 6-1, while defending champion Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain now has a clearer path to the semi-finals with the departure of 7th-seeded Misaki Doi from Japan, a 4-6 7-5 6-4 loser to Czech Marie Bouzkova in round one, her projected quarter-final opponent.

There were two further upsets on Monday, with Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya getting past 8th seeded Zheng Qinwen, 6-3 2-6 6-3, and Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova from Slovakia taking out the 5th-seeded Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Diaz, 6-1 6-4.

Other winners on Monday included qualifier Lucia Bronzetti from Italy, a 6-7(5) 6-3 6-3 winner over American wild-card Catherine McNally; Anastasia Potapova benefitting from a retirement by Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko with the score standing at 6-4 2-2 in favour of the Russian; and Wang Qiang from China defeating another American, Lauren Davis, 6-2 6-1.

Emma Raducanu is the top seed for the first time in her career at the WTA 250 in Guadalajara

© Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

De Franse padelteams op weg naar Euro Padel 2024
The Pacific Club Cup: CCP in Tahiti
Spanning stijgt rond het Franse team voor het Europees Kampioenschap Padel 2024 in Cagliari
The Impact of Extreme Heat on Padel Tournaments
Vacature voor een ervaren padel coach bij South Padel

Geef een reactie