Former Champs Petkovic, Jankovic Beat Foes - and the Rain
By: Nick McCarvel
Monday at the Volvo Car Open, it was a champion's mentality that won the plot.
Former winners here Andrea Petkovic and Jelena Jankovic were victorious against tricky foes, while Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig also moved into the second round.
Petkovic, champion here in 2014, surged back from a first-set deficit to beat clay courter Lara Arruabarrena 7-5, 6-2 while 2007 champ Jankovic was in control against Ekaterina Alexandrova, winning 6-0, 6-4.
Puig won via retirement against Katerina Siniakova, the Puerto Rican leading 4-6, 6-2, 4-1.
Local favorite Shelby Rogers was delayed Monday evening due to a heavy rain storm, and will come back early Tuesday to finish her match against Veronica Cepede Royg. The winner of that bout will take on Keys on Wednesday.
Rising Japanese star Naomi Osaka needed a comeback in her win over Johanna Larsson, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2. In an all-American battle, Alison Riske held off teenager Kayla Day in a thriller on Althea Gibson Clubcourt, winning 7-5, 4-6, 6-0.
Elsewhere, Laura Siegemund won, as did lucky loser Ons Jabeur. Jelena Ostapenko was victorious in straight sets, as was veteran Kateryna Bondarenko.
Petkovic and Jankovic have entertained crowds in Charleston for years, and this year are paired up as a doubles team. Monday their singles shined, Petkovic showing the aggressive brand of tennis she displayed in 2014 en route to the final.
Jankovic’s match was her 1,001th in her career. “It’s hard to count to 1,000… imagine playing over 1,000 tennis matches,” she joked on court.
Puig is in Charleston for the first time since winning the Olympic gold medal in singles in Rio, an unexpected feat for the player who was ranked No. 32 in the world at the time.
In addition to Rogers, three other singles matches were not completed on Monday. Those matches were added to Tuesday’s schedule, making it a must-see one for fans on Daniel Island.