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Ostapenko, Mladenovic stumble at first hurdle

Aug 07, 2017
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Jelena Ostapenko saw her Rogers Cup title bid come to an early end this afternoon, dropping a 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(5) decision to qualifier Varvara Lepchenko.

Ostapenko, who at age 20 became the youngest Slam champion since 2006 when she won the French Open this year, took control of the match early on with blistering winners off both wings. After claiming the first set, she raced off to a 3-0 lead in the second before her American opponent rallied to win it in a tiebreaker.

The Latvian was ultimately unable to dial in her high-risk tennis, with Lepchenko using her opponent’s pace – and unforced errors – against her to secure victory in a tense third-set tiebreak.

Earlier in the day, 12th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic was outfoxed by veteran Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic. Mladenovic, who has been struggling to find the form that sent waves through the WTA Tour earlier this season, was unable to cope with Strycova’s adept counterpunching and crafty changes of pace. The Frenchwoman fell 6-2, 6-3 in 1h and 15min.

Barbora Strycova emerged victorious over Kristina Mladenovic.

Elsewhere, Daria Kasatkina emerged victorious in an enthralling 7-6(3), 7-6(1) tussle with 2015 US Open finalist Roberta Vinci, which included what might already be the shot of the tournament. She will face No.5 seed Elina Svitolina in the second round.

Later on Grandstand, No.11 seed Dominika Cibulkova overcame Lesia Tsurenko 7-6(3), 6-4, while fellow seed Anastasia Sevastova fought pasted America’s Lauren David 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Rising Japanese star Naomi Osaka also advanced this afternoon when Heather Watson was forced to retire. Ana Konjuh was also unable to finish her match with Belgium’s Kristen Flipkens, who advanced after a 6-2 first set.

Monday’s night session sees 2014 finalist Venus Williams take on Irina-Camelia Begu and Canadian Françoise Abanda against Lucia Safarova.