Wed, Apr 03, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Bencic, Ostapenko ease into second round in Charleston


Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic returns to Australia’s Destanee Aiava in their Volvo Car Open match in Charleston, South Carolina, on Monday.

Photo: AP

Swiss ninth seed Belinda Bencic made a strong start on Monday to her clay-court season with a 6-3, 6-0 win over qualifier Destanee Aiava to reach the second round of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, South Carolina.

Bencic broke Aiava at love to open the match, one of the six break points she converted, and was never really tested as the 18-year-old Australian made 24 unforced errors.

Aiava did well to fight off one match point, but then double-faulted the next time that the match was on the line to hand Bencic the victory in 56 minutes.

The world No. 21 is next to face Allie Kiick of the US, who beat France’s Pauline Parmentier 6-3, 6-0.

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, a runner-up in Charleston in 2017, dropped the opening game of her match, but quickly righted the ship and dominated the rest of the way in a 6-1, 6-4 win over Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.

Latvia’s Ostapenko had seven double faults in the match, but rounded into form as the match wore on before clinching the win by firing down an ace.

She is next to face Shelby Rogers of the US, who was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina in her first match after being sidelined for more than a year by a knee injury.

Such was her relief at being fit and back on the court again that Rogers succumbed to tears after winning the opening set.

“It’s kind of embarrassing to be honest,” the 26-year-old Charleston native told reporters.

“It was a great moment, I enjoyed every second of it — even when I got broken. That’s part of it. It’s all those feelings I missed so much. You can’t recreate that outside of the arena,” she said.

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