Daniel Island, S.C.—After rain forced last night’s prime-time sessions off the court, there was a lot of playing to do at the Credit One Charleston Open in Charleston today. Sofia Kenin and Aliaksandra Sasnovich resumed their aborted match,with Kenin holding a 3-0 third set lead. She quickly capitalized on the lead and made short work of Sasnovich on Stadium court, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-1. 15 seed Irina Begu awaits Kenin in the next match.
Leylah Fernandez was a force to be reckoned with today on Althea Gibson court and dominated her first round match against Evgeniya Rodina, 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes. She’ll face Paula Badosa in round 2, who earlier defeated Mayer Sharif on Stadium court, 6-3, 6-1. Badosa noted that she had a little extra time since being bounced early at the Miami Open. “I had a lot of days from Miami to come here to practice,” Badosa said, half-jokingly. “I really worked very hard. I’m playing well, I think.”
Caty McNally was another straight sets winner today. She enjoyed the pro-American crowd and cruised to a 6-4, 6-1 win over Julie Niemeier of Germany. She’ll meet up with hometown favorite Shelby Rogers on Thursday. Rogers overcame Danielle Collins in three sets, 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-1. No one beats Shelby in the first round on Stadium court in Charleston.
There might be no one as cool and calm in Charleston as Hailey Baptiste right now. The qualifying alternate leaped head first into the final 32 here with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Xiyu Wang on Court 3. Baptiste draws Madison Keys in the second round as Keys was a winner against Emma
Navarro, 6-4, 6-3.
Varvara Gracheva eased past Anna Lena Friedsam of Germany today in the first set before taking full control of the match in the second set, 7-6(3), 6-2. Gracheva is always a dangerous threat in the draw and I will pick her to upset Magda Linette in the second round.
Charleston fans were treated to the return of Sabine Lisicki over the weekend in qualifying. Today, her 2023 run ended at the hands of American Caroline Dolehide. Before the rain, the match was scheduled to be played on a packed Stadium court last night, which might have been an advantage for the former Wimbledon finalist. Instead, it was played on a sparsely attended outer court in the middle of the day, a locale that Dolehide knows all too well. Lisicki never found her rhythm, finding herself in early holes in each set. She rallied in each but fell short in both sets and exited the tournament with a 6-4, 6-4 loss to the American. Dolehide will play 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova next.