Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Makarova withdraws from Charleston, others simply get pushed out

2nd seed Ekaterina Makarova, after she beat Zhang Shuai this morning in the second round of the Family Circle Cup, confirmed to the media that she had experienced some abdominal pain on the court. She said she had taken some medication and felt a bit better, but by this afternoon, she had withdrawn from the tournament. As a result, Irina-Camelia Begu received a walkover to the third round.

Makarova's exit, while surprising, was only the beginning of a day filled with upsets and (at least, to some fans) unexpected defeats. 9th seed Sam Stosur was upset by Lara Arruabarrena, and 12th seed Belinda Bencic was upset by qualifier Danka Kovinic. Mona Barthel beat Sloane Stephens in straight sets. Then the tournament's top seed, Genie Bouchard, went out to Lauren Davis, who beat her 6-3, 6-1.

Bouchard, who is 6-5 for the season, said that she isn't sure what has gone wrong, but that she plans to do an assessment of her game so that she can correct any errors she finds. The Canadian star hadn't planned to play in Charleston, but took a wild card at the last minute.

Last year's runner-up, Jana Cepelova, lost today to 4th seed Sara Errani. Both players appeared sluggish, but especially Cepelova, who had played a two-hour three-set match late yesterday. At one point in today's match, Cepelova had her blood pressure checked and was given ice. She continued to play, but later--sliding on the clay--she fell over in pain because of a cramp in her left leg. Again, she recovered and continued to play, but she obviously wasn't herself.

The second set tiebreak was the best part of the match, which had never really seemed to take off, probably because of Cepelova's physical weakness. Errani, known for her passionate yelling, developed an amusing pattern of shouting her usual "hey!" until she made a point, either with a winner or through her opponent's error. The Italian would then punctuate the exclamation so that a rally sounded like this: "Hey!...hey!....hey!....ha!"

Tomorrow, Errani will take on Sara Sorribes Tormo, who defeated Daniel Island native Shelby Rogers.

Photo by Daniel Ward
Madison Keys, seeded 7th, performed very well at the night match, in which she defeated qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 6-1. Then came the contest between the Rodionova sisters and Indian Wells and Miami champions Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza. Hingis and Mirza won, 6-7, 6-3, 10-5. Mirza had forehand-of-fire flashes of brilliance, but also made a lot of errors, while Hingis was generally stunning.

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