After yesterday’s cold & rain-soaked start into the 2015 Internationaux de Strasbourg, the weather improved overnight and the second day of qualifying at the French clay classic was blessed by warmer temperatures and occasional sunshine.
The weather cleared up right in time for the arrival of Jelena Jankovic, the Serbian former world #1 who has made her return to Strasbourg by taking up a wildcard into the event. Jankovic last played Strasbourg in 2007 when the tournament was held at a different venue, so long ago that the Serbian needed to be remembered by the tournament media staff on her former accomplishments in Strasbourg.
Following her chat with the media, Jankovic went straight to the practice courts for an extended practice session with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, joining several other main-draw players in their preparation for the start of the tournament, among them Alize Cornet, Madison Keys & Alison Riske.
While the main draw players were able to focus on preparing for their first-round matches, the qualifiers still had to fight for their ticket into the tournament. Two players had a particularly long way to go on Saturday, as both Gabriela Dabrowski & Su-Wie Hsieh had to play two singles matches due to their first-round match being postponed because of the rain yesterday.
The effort paid off for both players as Dabrowski qualified by beating both Irina Ramialison & Katarzyna Piter, while Su-Wei Hsieh edged out two French youngsters on her way into the main draw. France’s Sarah Finck didn’t stand much of a chance against the Taiwanese player, while Oceane Dodin, backed by the local crowd, had two set points in the second after dropping the first set, but unfortunately for both the young Frenchwoman and the fans on site, Dodin wasted both chances, handing Hsieh her second win of the day.
Dodin’s loss sealed the disappointing fate of the local players as none of the French girls that attempted to qualify will join French players Alize Cornet & Pauline Parmentier in the main draw. The first half of the tournament’s first round will kick off tomorrow as the 2015 Internationaux de Strasbourg picks up pace with just one week to go until Roland Garros!