Tennis bits: Heater Watson ousted in Charleston; Lleyton Hewitt goes down quietly in Houston

British No 1 Heather Watson fell in the first round at WTA Charleston on Monday, as Lleyton Hewitt suffered the same fate at ATP Houston and new British No 2 Aljaz Beden qualified for the ATP Casablanca tournament.
Heather Watson is the 41st ranked player in the world. Francois Nel / Getty Images
Heather Watson is the 41st ranked player in the world. Francois Nel / Getty Images

WTA Charleston

Zarina Diyas and Heather Watson were the seeded casualties on the first day of main-draw action at the WTA Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

Diyas, the 11th seed from Kazakhstan, won the first set against Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka but was beaten 6-4, 1-6, 3-6.

British No 1 Watson, seeded 16th, gave up 14 break points and lost her serve seven times en route to a 3-6, 6-4, 5-7 defeat to Croatian teen Donna Vekic in a hard-fought match lasting more than two and a half hours.

The other seeds in action, Irina-Camelia Begu and Mona Barthel, progressed in straight sets.

Begu, seeded 13th, required two hours and a second-set tie-break to win 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) against German qualifier Laura Siegemund, who had hammered Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-1 to reach the tournament proper.

Barthel, two places lower than Begu in the seedings, broke serve four times in a 6-3, 6-3 win over Hungary’s Timea Babos.

Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa won 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 against New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic while Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic beat Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-4.

There was an easier time for Diyas’s Kazakh compatriot Yaroslava Shvedova, who beat Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele 7-5, 6-2.

The two all-American ties ended with Lauren Davis beating Grace Min and wild-card Sachia Vickery victorious against qualifier Jessica Pegula, both in three sets.

Shelby Rogers brushed aside Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-3, 6-1 but Irina Falconi was dismissed just as comfortably by Tatjana Maria of Germany and Nicole Gibbs and Christina McHale lost in straight sets to Zhang Shuai and Danka Kovinic respectively.

Kristina Kucova beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni while Evgeniya Rodina saw off Yulia Putintseva.

The last match of the evening went the distance with Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko eventually beating Alison Riske of the US 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 after two hours on court.

ATP Houston

Japan’s Go Soeda survived a scare from former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt and American Sam Querrey barely broke a sweat in advancing at the ATP US Clay Court Championships on Monday.

Soeda needed 2hrs 36mins to post a 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 win over Hewitt, who won the event in 2009. The 30-year-old Soeda had to save one match point against Hewitt.

He will face either Jeremy Chardy or Dusan Lajovic in the next round.

Querrey advanced after Marinko Matosevic retired from their match after 18 minutes on the court at the River Oaks Country Club.

Querrey, the No 8 seed, was leading 4-1 in the first set when a foot injury caused Matosevic to pack it in. Querrey was the runner-up in Houston in 2010.

Also on Day 1, Argentine Federico Delbonis beat Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) and Sam Groth, of Australia, toppled Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

The top seeds in Houston are Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Roberto Bautista Agut. Lopez’s first match is against Groth.

Fernando Verdasco beat back-to-back runner-up Nicolas Almagro in last year’s all-Spanish finale.

ATP Casablanca

Great Britain’s Slovenian-born Aljaz Bedene, the new British No 2 and World No 99, advanced to the main draw of the ATP Grand Prix Hassan II in Morocco on Monday.

Bedene will face world No 94 Maximo Gonzalez in the first round in a draw that would have him face either eight seed Diego Schwartzman or another qualifier if he can advance to the second round.

In the tournament’s opening matches on Monday, Carlos Berlocq made Pablo Carreno-Busta (No 5) the first seed to fall, while seventh seed Mikhail Kukushkin and Dustin Brown also won opening matches.

Brown will face second-seeded Martin Klizan in the second round for a shot at the quarter-finals. The top seed in the tournament is Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

WTA Katowice

The WTA Katowice Open kicked off on Monday with the tournament’s second and third seeds each advancing.

French second seed Alize Cornet dismissed Kiki Bertens in straight sets and Italian third seed Camila Giorgi defeated Denisa Allertova in three sets.

Former world No 2 Vera Zvonareva also moved on, beating sixth seeded Karin Knapp 7-5, 6-4. The Russian, now ranked 145th in the world, broke a string of three straight losses with her first win since going out in the second round in Monterrey on March 5.

Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck also upset fourth-seeded world No 49 Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets.

Agnieszka Radwanska, the tournament’s top seeded player, will face Yanina Wickmayer in her first round match on Tuesday.

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Published: April 7, 2015 04:00 AM


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