There were a few surprises in store at the early session of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at IGA Stadium.
The biggest is certainly Angelique Kerber’s early exit. The fourth seed was up against Alizé Cornet of France, who played masterfully enough to wrap things up in two sets (6-4, 6-1).
Karolina Pliskova (9) of the Czech Republic was ousted by Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in two decisive sets (6-2, 6-2).
Roland-Garros finalist and World No.3 Sloane Stephens was totally impermeable in her 6-0, 6-2 win against Montrealer Françoise Abanda. The Canadian played better in the second set and broke Stephens twice but it was too little too late.
World No.22 Maria Sharapova of Russia is on a mission, and her 6-0, 6-2 victory over her countrywoman Daria Kasatkina is tangible proof. More powerful than ever and armed with a new and improved serve, she demolished her rival.
It was a sad win for Elina Svitolina (5) of Ukraine over Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania. In the last set of their exciting match, Buzarnescu sprained her ankle and had to leave the court in a wheelchair. The final score was 6-3, 6-7 (5), 4-3.
Ashleigh Barty (15) of Australia eliminated Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium in two sets (7-6 (7), 6-2), while her fellow Belgian Elise Mertens (14) defeated Shuai Zhang of China.
Finally, qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain earned a win when her opponent Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine was forced to retire.