First Round Action Kicks Off 2022 Citi Open Main Draw Play
Steve Fogleman in Washington
Andy Murray graced this city with his presence but bowed out in the first round of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. on Monday night, falling to Sweden’s Michael Ymer in three sets.
“Yeah, it was disappointing obviously,” he said after the loss. “I thought there was some good tennis in the first set. After that both of us were struggling a bit physically. The level of the tennis was not great but, yeah, obviously had chances in the first set to close that out. I had set point in 6-5, then two in the tiebreaker, two or three in the tiebreaker, and didn’t get it. Frustrating.”
Murray opined that the only positive of the early loss was more time to practice before heading to Canada later in the week.
Earlier in the day, former world #1 Simona Halep faced little resistance from Spain’s Cristina Busca in the first set but went into a bit of a tailspin in the second before securing the victory.
“Yeah, my energy dropped (in the second set)” she said. “I’m not used. I didn’t play the last months in this heat. It’s always tricky to start the tournament. Now I know. I got used to the conditions better.”
She concluded, “First round is difficult. But it’s good that I finish in two sets.”
She should know. The last time she played here was in 2017, when she wilted in the heat on her way to retirement.
Top-ranked American Jessica Pegula was fully prepared for 2019 Citi Open upset specialist and local player Hailey Baptiste. Baptiste beat Madison Keys in the first round of the 2019 event here and Pegula was not looking past her.
I am a sucker for cliches like “epic comeback”, but Daria Saville’s match against qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund was one for the tournament. After losing the first set 6-3, she clawed back to win the next two sets and the match, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) after 3 hours and 9 minutes. The 10th game of the third set went on for 15 minutes and Bjorklund’s level of play never dropped. Saville, nee Gavrilova, will need the two day rest to face top American Pegula in the round of 16.
Kyle Edmund is back, mate! The 2020 New York Open champion (right as the coronavirus was attacking New York City for the first time) won his first match in almost 20 months today after injuries sidelined him from the tour. Edmund indicated that he was not at his best, but it’s good to see him back on court and I’m interested in how he’ll fare against countryman Daniel Evans tomorrow night.