|Angelique Kerber (photo by Daniel Ward|
Kerber prevailed 6-2 in the opening set, but the set's scoreline doesn't adequately reflect the level of Arruabarrena's play. The Spaniard took the second set 7-5, and the third went to a tiebreak, which was taken control of early on by a flummoxed, not very pleased, Kerber. She won it 7-3. After the match, Kerber said what we so often here in Charleston: "The first match on clay is tough."
The Australian Open champion wasn't the only one who suffered. Kiki Mladenovic and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni played a tense match which ended with the tiebreak from hell. Each woman took a set 6-4, then--in the final set--Lucic-Baroni held two match points when Mladenovic served at 5-6. The Frenchwoman saved the first one with a drop shot, and she saved the second one with a missile-like serve. Not surprisingly, a tiebreak ensued.
I lost track of how many match points were held by either woman in the tiebreak. It went on and on, and at 11-all, one double-faulted, and then the other one double-faulted. It seemed like it would never end, but end it did, with Lucic-Baroni winning 15-13.
|Daria Kasatkina (photo by Daniel Ward)|
|Genie Bouchard (photo by Daniel Ward)|
Other players who won in singles today were qualifier Kristina Kucova, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Monica Puig, wild card Louisa Chirico, Zhang Shuai, Yarslava Shvedova, and Yulia Putintseva.
Kasatkina pulled double duty today and succeeded. She and partner Elena Vesnina defeated Kateryna Bondarenko and Olga Savchuk 6-7, 6-3, 10-6. Vesnina won the doubles title (with Sania Mirza) in 2011.
|Sam Stosur (photo by Daniel Ward)|