WTA Tour wrap: Upsets aplenty as trio of WTA 250 events begin

THREE WTA 250 tournaments have begun this week with one hard court event starting in Prague, Czech Republic, and a couple of clay events in Lausanne, Switzerland and Budapest, Hungary. While the opening day at the Ladies Open Lausanne saw some slight delays and eventual suspended matches due to rain, the other two events were completed seamlessly with some intriguing upsets along the way.

In Prague, Slovakian Rebecca Sramkova has executed the upset of her career, stunning Czech top seed and current world number 12 Petra Kvitova in a huge 7-6(5) 3-6 6-4 clash. Sramkova required just over two hours and 35 minutes to steal the victory, hitting more double faults and ultimately winning less points overall than her higher ranked opposition (96-106) but overall converting and saving more break point to clinch the big moments. With Kvitova using this hard court event as a warm up to the Tokyo Olympics, the Czech talent’s recent form leaves a lot to be desired.

The day’s two other seeds were also dealt three setters, with seventh seed Serbian Nina Stojanovic overcoming a first set tiebreaker loss to claim the remainder of the match with relative ease, overcoming Russian Vitalia Diatchenko 6-7(5) 6-1 6-3. Ninth seed Greet Minnen claimed a bagel opener against Italian Giulia Gatto-Monticone before the Italian fought back in the second, forcing a third set which the Belgian claimed to sweep the 6-0 4-6 6-1 contest in one hour and 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, Asia MuhammadGrace Min and Tereza Smitkova all overcame an Australian each, with Smitkova claiming the quickest result of the day by far in straight sets, requiring just 61 minutes to take down Maddison Inglis, while Muhammad overcame a first set deficit to Lizette Cabrera before fighting back, and Min overcame a mid-match slump to defeat Sam Stosur.

In Switzerland, two home hopefuls in Susan Bandecchi and Simona Waltert fell on the opening day, going down to France’s Clara Burel and Kazakh Zarina Diyas respectively. Top seed Slovenian Tamara Zidansek claimed a come from behind 2-6 6-3 6-2 victory over Russian Marina Melnikova while Melnikova’s compatriot Natalia Vikhlyantseva was more fortunate in her clash with Ukrainian Katarina Zavatksa, speeding home with a 4-6 6-4 6-0 victory. Two clashes were delayed and will be complete tomorrow, with Fiona Ferro currently leading compatriot Harmony Tan 7-5 2-1 and Alycia Parks owning the upper hand during the first set against German Anna-Lena Friedsam 5-0, with just 24 minutes played prior to the match suspension.

In Hungary it was upsets aplenty with fourth seed Irina-Camelia Begu, seventh seed Viktoriya Tomova and eighth seed Sara Errani all falling at the first hurdle. While Errani claimed the first set over eventual victor Irina Bara who claimed the 4-6 7-5 6-2 clash, both Begu and Tomova were downed in straight sets in under 90 minutes each by Russian Anna Schmiedlova and Argentinian Paula Ormaechea respectively.

Top seed Yulia Putintseva did not have the same issues, claiming a 6-2 6-4 victory over Georgian Ekaterine Gorgodze in one hour and 35 minutes, winning 60 per cent of her total service points and 51.4 per cent of her return points in the process. She is joined in the second round by Croatian Ana Konjuh who continued her solid form with a 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory over compatriot Tereza Mrdza, and Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova, who claimed a 7-6 6-3 win over Austrian Barbara Haas.


Rebecca Sramkova (SVK) defeated [1] Petra Kvitova (CZE) 7-6 3-6 6-4
[7] Nina Stojanovic (SRB) defeated Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 6-7 6-1 6-3
[9] Greet Minnen (BEL) defeated Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA) 6-0 4-6 6-1
Asia Muhammad (USA) defeated Lizette Cabrera (AUS) 3-6 6-2 6-2
Grace Min (USA) defeated Sam Stosur (AUS) 6-3 2-6 6-3
Tereza Smitkova (CZE) defeated Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-2 6-2


[1] Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated Marina Melnikova (RUS) 2-6 6-3 6-2
Clara Burel (FRA) defeated Susan Bandecchi (SUI) 6-0 6-2
Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) defeated Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 4-6 6-4 6-0
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) defeated Simona Waltert (SUI) 6-4 6-4

Harmony Tan (FRA) trails [2] Fiona Ferro (FRA) 5-7 1-2 SUSP
Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) trails Alycia Parks (USA) 0-5 SUSP


[1] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Ekaterine Gorgodze (GEO) 6-2 6-4
Anna Schmiedlova (SVK) defeated [4] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-3 6-4
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) defeated [7] Viktoriya Tomova (HUN) 6-2 6-3
Irina Bara (ROU) defeated [8] Sara Errani (ITA) 4-6 7-5 6-2
Ana Konjuh (CRO) defeated Tereza Mrdeza (CRO) 4-6 6-3 6-2
Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) defeated Barbara Haas (AUT) 7-6 6-3


Picture credit: AP

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