Tuesday at the Internationaux de Strasbourg had the first half of the tournament’s second round on the agenda, with four singles matches scheduled.
The spectators that came to see the first match of the day were in for quite a rough time as the match-up between Ajla Tomljanovic & Shelby Rogers was held under freezing cold temperatures and persistent rain that never got heavy enough to cause a pause of play.
The on-court entertainment made up for the less than comfortable watching setup though, as the two young players fought an exciting battle with plenty of momentum swings. After a lot of back and forth in the first set, it looked like Rogers would take over control of the first-set tie break, enjoying a 4-0 lead in the decider.
Tomljanovic rallied back though, deciding the set in her favor, only to drop the second set as Rogers regrouped. A bathroom break before the third set and some encouraging words from coach Dave Taylor seemed to do the trick for the 22-year old, as Tomljanovic took firm control of the match in the third set, punching her ticket for the next round.
Tomljanovic’s victory sets up a very interesting quarterfinal on Thursday, since the soon-to-be Australian will be facing off with Sam Stosur. The US Open champ was able to advance to the round of the last eight on Tuesday without lifting a finger, as opponent Lesia Tsurenko withdrew due to a back injury.
The duel between the two Australian girls will have an extra twist, with both Tomljanovic & Stosur being coached by Dave Taylor. The veteran Australian coach is now already guaranteed to see one of his players make the semifinals in Strasbourg.
Also through to the quarterfinals is Sloane Stephens, who remained victorious in straight sets against fellow American Coco Vandeweghe. The day was rounded out by Jelena Jankovic’s straight-set win over Saisai Zheng.
While Jankovic was still busy working her way into the quarterfinals, plenty of players attended the tournament’s players party for some light-hearted fun before things get serious again tomorrow.
Wednesday will be a big day for the local fans, as three of the four remaining second-round match-ups will feature French talent.