Olympics Women’s wrap: Bertens falls on day one as other seeds advance
SIX of the seven seeds out on court in the Olympics have advanced through to the second round of competition after a mixed bag of results on day one of the women’s tennis tournament. The highest seeded player out on court was Poland’s Iga Swiatek, with the 2020 Roland Garros champion taking care of Germany’s Mona Bartel in straight sets to advance through to the Round of 32. The Pole was moved to Centre Court after Naomi Osaka’s big night out lighting the flame at the Opening Ceremony the previous evening.
“It was amazing,” Swiatek said post-match. “I wasn’t expecting that. I know that they changed the schedule yesterday, but it was a special moment for me. I know that right now I really feel the Olympic vibe.”
“My Dad’s told me a lot about the Olympics,” said Swiatek. “I couldn’t actually imagine it properly, but for sure it’s a special event. It’s different than any other tournament. I’m trying to give myself the opportunity to get used to it and focus on playing.”
Swiatek will take on the in-form Paula Badosa who took down French veteran Kristina Mladenovic in three sets, running away with it in the third after a tight first two sets, 6-7 6-3 6-0. Also through to the next round was Czech duo, Barbora Krejcikova and Marketa Vondrousova. The reigning Roland Garros champion Krejcikova won after Kazakhstan opponent Zarina Diyas retired seven games into the match, whilst 2019 Roland Garros finalist Vondrousova toppled 16th seed Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens in three sets, 6-4 3-6 6-4.
It was better news for another Kazakh competitor with Elena Rybakina advancing through to the next round following a 6-4 6-2 win against Australian Sam Stosur. Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova blasted past Italian veteran Sara Errani 6-0 6-1, whilst eighth seed Belinda Bencic and 14th seed Maria Sakkari both posted wins against quality in-form opponents. Bencic took out United States’ Jessica Pegula, as Sakkari defeated Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit to book their respective spots in the second round.
From an unseeded perspective, a quality battle of young guns saw Canadian Leylah Fernandez run away with a three-set win over Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska who was fresh off her return to the WTA Tour, with Fernandez getting up 6-3 3-6 6-0 to advance to the next stage of the tournament. It was not a great day for the United States to start with, as Alison Riske fell to lower ranked Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in three tight sets, 6-7 7-5 6-4, whilst Viktoria Golubic joined Bencic in the second round with the Swiss representative defeating Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, 6-4 6-1.
In the remaining results, German Anna-Lena Friedsam toppled Great Britain’s Heather Watson in straight sets 7-6 6-3, while Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson booked safe passage into the Round of 32 with a 7-5 7-6 triumph over Maya Sherif, 7-5 7-6. For the home nation it was a real mixd bag as Misaki Doi advanced in straight sets 6-3 6-2 over Mexico’s Renata Zarazua, while Nao Hibino fell to Serbian Nina Stojanovic.
WOMEN’S SINGLES ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:
 Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Mona Barthel (GER) 6-2 6-2
 Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 5-2 RET
 Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-3 6-3
 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated Sara Errani (ITA) 6-0 6-1
 Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Anett Kontaveit (EST) 7-5 6-2
 Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Sam Stosur (AUS) 6-4 6-2
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) defeated  Kiki Bertens (NED) 6-4 3-6 6-4
Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 7-6 6-3
Nina Stojanovic (SRB) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-3 6-3
Misaki Doi (JPN) defeated Renata Zarazua (MEX) 6-3 6-2
Leylah Fernandez (CAN) defeated Dayana Yastremska (UKR) 6-3 3-6 6-0
Rebecca Peterson (SWE) defeated Maya Sherif (EGY) 7-5 7-6
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-7 6-3 6-0
Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) defeated Alison Riske (USA) 6-7 7-5 6-4
Viktoria Golubic (SUI) defeated Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) 6-4 6-1
Picture credit: Daniel Kopatsch / ITF