Daniel Island  Charleston, SC
On Court Action

Three-Set Matches Rule Play on Day 1
By: Nicholas McCarvel

It was a record-setting day in many ways at the Volvo Car Open as main draw play kicked off and a slew of seesaw matches kept crowds entertained.

Wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the most dramatic match of the day, overcoming an injured opponent in Australian Anastasia Rodionova on Althea Gibson Court 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3) in three hours, 42 minutes.

That match is the longest of the year on the WTA Tour and it included a match point saved by Mattek-Sands, who continues to return from injury after a short layoff in 2012.

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“I actually feel pretty good,” said Mattek-Sands after the win, laughing. “It was a tough situation for her to be hurt. It was a tough match overall.”

There were several tough matches around the grounds, including 19-year-old qualifier Jessica Pegula’s 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-5 effort over Spaniard Garbine Muguruza. The victory notched the American her first-ever win on the WTA Tour.

It was also a first-ever win for Grace Min, the 2011 US Open junior champion. The 19-year-old Atlanta native, who also qualified, beat 13th seed Tamira Paszek after the Austrian retired with a neck injury trailing by a set, 6-3.

Americans Mallory Burdette and No. 12 seed Varvara Lepchenko both won three-set affairs, Lepchenko beating compatriot Christina McHale on Billie Jean King Court. Burdette, a former Stanford standout, overcame Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 1-6, 6-0.

Wild card Taylor Townsend of the U.S. was not as fortunate as her compatriots, playing solid tennis to start before succumbing to fellow wild card Andrea Petkovic, 6-3, 6-0.

The German Petkovic is a former top ten player and is in her first-ever Volvo Car Open on the comeback trail following a series of injuries over the last 15 months.

No. 11 seed Sorana Cirstea advanced in straight sets, taking down Tatjana Malek. Notable wins were also registered by up-and-coming teenagers Eugenie Bouchard and Caroline Garcia, both who played on Court 4 in the late afternoon.

American journeywoman Jamie Hampton wasn’t in the winning column, falling to Olga Govortsova 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4.

Other winners in the day included Mathilda Johansson, Monica Puig, Camila Giorgi, Stefanie Voegele and Anabel Medina Garrigues. Overall, eight of the 16 matches went the full three sets.

Every singles match from the first ball struck to the last ball played
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