Vickery Wins All-American Battle on Crowded Monday
On a day when two local players had different fates at the Volvo Car Open, plenty of first-round encounters went the distance during first-round play Monday.
While Mount Pleasant native Shelby Rogers won in straight sets, Charleston-based Jessica Pegula was on the losing end of a three-set seesaw battle against fellow American Sachia Vickery, a wildcard. Vickery won in front of an enthusiastic crowd on Althea Gibson Club Court 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), defeating Pegula, who lives and trains in Charleston as part of the MW Tennis academy at the Family Circle Tennis Center.
Monday also saw two seeds move through and three Americans claim victories.
Lauren Davis, an Ohio native, won a tight affair against compatriot Grace Min, also played out on Althea Gibson Club Court, a 6-7(1), 7-6(2), 6-3 victor. Davis next meets top seed and world No. 7 Genie Bouchard, a match slated for Wednesday.
Irina-Camelia Begu, the 13th seed was a winner, as was No. 15 Mona Barthel of Germany. Heather Watson, the 16th seed, wasn’t so lucky, however, a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 loss at the hands of teenager and rising star Donna Vekic.
Rogers, Vickery and Davis led the American charge, although Irina Falconi, Min, Pegula, Christina McHale and Nicole Gibbs all fell. Ten Americans are slated for play on Tuesday, another packed day of action at the Cup.
Other winners on Monday included Chanelle Scheepers, Evgeniya Rodina, Kristina Kucova, Ajla Tomljanovic, Yaroslava Shvedova, Danka Kovinic, Lucie Hradecka and Zhang Shaui. Hradecka, a qualifier, upset No. 11 seed Zarina Diyas.
Pegula is on her way back from a series of injuries that left her out of competitive play for over a year. In 2013 she won her first WTA matches at the Volvo Car Open and this week was victorious in two rounds of qualifying play, another step in a long comeback from the sidelines.
“I grew up on Hilton Head so the support has been great,” said Pegula, 21. “This gives me a lot of confidence but coming back has been harder than I thought it would be. It was great to win those two matches in qualifying.”
Russians Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova kicked off the doubles draw, three-set winners over Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska.