Charleston’s Rogers Wows Home Crowd on Busy Tuesday
Every point is important in tennis, but the last point is the one that – in the end – means the most.
Tuesday afternoon Charleston native Shelby Rogers was reminded of that when she let a 5-1 third-set lead slip against a feisty Veronica Cepede Royg, but prevailed in a thrilling 6-7(1), 6-3, 7-6(6) victory at the Volvo Car Open.
It was a dramatic finish to a match that had more twists and turns the whole of the Mississippi River.
“It was definitely a lot of momentum changes in the match,” Rogers told reporters. “I’m happy to get those last couple points.”
Plenty of other last points were won on Tuesday, which was full from start to finish after rain came late in the day on Monday evening. Sam Stosur, Lucie Safarova, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and others earned wins, Stosur the first player to book a spot in the third round.
It was the Australian, who won here in 2010, that was taking on another former Charleston champion in Jelena Jankovic. Stosur, who was just 2-7 head-to-head against Jankovic coming in, wasted no time in racing to a 6-1, 6-3 win in the evening session.
Elsewhere around the grounds, seeds Zhang Shuai, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Irina-Camelia Begu earned wins. Russian Daria Kasatkina was clinical, while Kristina Kucova, Magda Linette, Annika Beck, Anastasia Rodionova, Sara Errani, Maria Sakkari, Fanny Stollar and Mona Barthel also won.
It was a disappointing day for seeded American Lauren Davis, who let set points slip in the first against Sakarri on Billie Jean King Stadium Court, the Greek No. 1 going on to win 7-5, 6-4. Other Americans in the losing column: Sofia Kenin, Varvara Lepchenko, Louisa Chirico, Grace Min, Jennifer Brady and Asia Muhammad.
It wasn’t all bad news for the American contingent, however. In addition to wins from Rogers and Mattek-Sands, Brady paired with American Alison Riske to beat Davis/Rogers in doubles. That was a match that was classic Charleston: With the late-afternoon sun pouring over Court 3, not a seat was to be found for high-class doubles.
Speaking of doubles, wins by the top pair in the world – Mattek-Sands and Safarova – in singles, means that they’ll meet one another in the second round.
Mattek-Sands withstood a tough test from American teen Kenin, while Safarova needed three sets against Lepchenko in a battle of left-handers.
Errani, a former world No. 5, looks to recapture the magic that she found here last year when she made a run to the semifinals.