Australian Open – Updates
Midway through the 3rd round of play at the 2018 Australian Open two WTA professionals also in the field at this year’s Volvo Car Open are still going strong, deep into the tournament – Caroline Garcia and Madison Keys. Here’s an update on all of the players you’ll be able to see in action at the Volvo Car Open this April right here in Charleston, SC.
France’s Caroline Garcia, currently ranked No. 8 in the world by the WTA, started the tournament by defeating Germany’s Carina Witthoeft in two sets to advance past the first round. In second round action, Garcia started off slow against the young Czech star Marketa Vondrousova, but experience won out as the veteran took the last two sets 14 games to 8. Garcia is predicted to make a deep run in this year’s Aussie Open as she draws the 87th ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus for her third round match up. Match play begins tonight, Jan. 19th at 9:00pm EST.
Twenty-two year-old American Madison Keys cruised through the first round of the Grand Slam with a strong performance against fellow WTA top 50 opponent Qiang Wang of China. Keys continued to dominate in the second round defeating Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova quickly in two sets, 6-0, 6-1. Keys has looked very strong throughout this tournament and has favorable odds to advance past her third-round opponent Ana Bogdan of Romanian. Be sure to check out Key’s strong run tonight, Jan 19th at 7:00pm EST.
World No. 9 Johanna Konta rolled through the competition in the first round of play defeating American Madison Brengle in two sets. However, Konta fell Wednesday night against another American Bernarda Pera in the 2nd round of play losing in two close sets. Konta appeared to struggle with the intense heat at the Australian Open, but look for the WTA heavyweight to fair much better in the more favorable April weather at the 2018 Volvo Car Open.
Sloane Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, suffered an early round defeat at the hands of Chinese hopeful Shuai Zang. The first round match extended to 3 sets with Stephens losing the third set 6 games to 2. The early 2018 loss is a disappointing result for the American star, who captured her first ever Major title at the end of 2017 at the U.S. Open. Sloane is still looking to find her groove in the New Year, but once she does we know she’ll be the one to watch. As our 2016 champion, we’re excited for her to bring back that top-level talent to this year’s Volvo Car Open in April.
Daria Kasatkina, our reigning champion, performed strongly in the first round of play defeating Anna Schmiedlova in two sets to advance. Unfortunately, her second-round matchup resulted in a surprising upset at the hands of Polish player Magda Linette in just two sets. Daria, a top-25 player, will look to rebound going forward this season. She’ll defend her title in April in Charleston.
Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, failed to advance from the first round after losing in three tough sets to our 2014 Volvo Car Open champion, Andrea Petkovic.
America CiCi Bellis suffered a narrow defeat in the first-round of play, getting edged out by veteran Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in three sets. At only 18 years old, it was a strong showing for the up-and-coming Bellis, who has recently broken into the WTA top 50.
Charleston, SC native Shelby Rogers snapped her current streak of advancing through the first round in five straight majors. Rogers was defeated by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, the World No. 32, in 3 sets. It was a rematch of the 2017 Volvo Car Open quarterfinals, which Lucic-Baroni also took in three sets. Look for our former ball crew member to provide some extra excitement at this year’s 2018 Volvo Car Open as the hometown girl returns after a thrilling 2017 run.
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