Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Kvitova and Muguruza win their first-ever Charleston matches

Petra Kvitova (photo courtesy of Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith)

Wild card and third seed Petra Kvitova, whose only other visit to Charleston occurred in 2018, won her first Volvo Car Open match today, defeating Storm Sanders 7-6, 6-2. Also winning her first Volvo Car Open match was Garbine Muguruza, whose only other visit to Charleston took place in 2013. Muguruza, the sixth seed, defeated Magdalena Frech 6-1, 6-3. Both players had byes in the first round, and have now advanced to the round of 16.

Garbine Muguruza (photo courtesy of Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith)

Both WTA stars lost in their opening rounds during their debuts in Charleston. Kvitova was upset by Kristyna Pliskova, and Muguruza was upset by qualifier Jessica Pegula.

Talking with the media, Kvitova looked back on her early days on the tour: "When you are new on the tour, you’re just taking everything like a gift. meeting all the players in the locker room, for me, it was very special."

As for playing the top players on tour, the Czech star recalled: "I always played very, very good, and I made them trouble." (She did.) "I had ups and downs in my career," Kvitova said. "I still do have them."

Muguruza told the media that she was glad that she was able to deal with a kind of clay to which she isn't accustomed. Speaking of her return to Charleston, she said: "This...green clay--I have to come back and have a different feeling."

She explained that it's harder to slide on green clay, that the clay is more compact, and that the bounces are tricky.

Shelby Rogers (photo courtesy of Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith)

Also winning today was hometown favorite Shelby Rogers, who defeated Kiki Mladenovic 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Yesterday, rising Canadian star Leylah Fernandez upset 16th seed Zhang Shuai, and Amanda Anisimova defeated Magda Linettte.

Also winning today were 2016 champion Sloane Stephens, Anastasija Sevastova, Ons Jabeur, and Yulia Putintseva.

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