Palermo PHOTOS: Vekic wins first main-draw WTA match after coronavirus hiatus, Pliskova closes the day at 2 a.m.

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Main-draw action started today at the Palermo Ladies Open, the first WTA tournament after the five-month coronavirus hiatus, and Donna Vekic became the first winner of the resumed WTA calendar with a confident 6-1 6-2 victory over Arantxa Rus. Our photographer Jimmie48 was there until well after midnight, as Krystina Pliskova and Maria Sakkari closed out the day’s play in an encounter that started at 12:30 a.m.

Sixth seed Donna Vekic definitely didn’t forget how to compete, as she opened the match by winning eight games in a row for a 6-1 2-0 lead and advanced to the second round by breaking Arantxa Rus as many as six times, even though the Dutchwoman fended off seven break points. The 24th-ranked Vekic will continue her Palermo debut against Italian wildcard Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who defeated Slovenia’s Polona Hercog 7-6(1) 6-3 on Monday.

Former world No.5 and French Open finalist Sara Errani delighted her home fans by grinding past Romanian Sorana Cirstea 7-5 1-6 6-4 in just under three hours, while Germany’s Laura Siegemund eliminated another Romanian, Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-4.

Eighth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia won 12 of the last 13 games in a 5-7 6-0 6-1 victory over France’s Kristina Mladenovic, who made 20 double faults during the two hours and 12 minutes of the match.

Late at night, Italian world No.95 Jasmine Paolini saved 24 break points and come back from a set and a break down to overcome Daria Kasatkina 5-7 6-4 6-4 in over three hours. It was close to 1 a.m. when seventh seed Dayana Yastremska advanced to the second round with a 6-3 6-4 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo and Monday’s schedule was still not over, as Kristyna Pliskova finally called it a day at 2 a.m. by upsetting third seed Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-4.

I have to make one fashion note: Look how photogenic this Nike Summer Slam Skirt is on Vekic, Errani and Kasatkina. A wonderful combination of stripes, layers and pleats that create a dynamic look. I would just rather pair it with a solid tank in one of the colors included in the skirt and not with this Nike Summer Sleeveless Top that contains a graphic printed on the front.

Besides the start of main-draw play, Monday at the Palermo Ladies Open also featured the final round of qualifying and a couple of first-round doubles matches, one of which was the victory of the WTA’s power couple Alison Van Uytvanck and Greet Minnen over Vivian Heisen and Emily Webley-Smith.

Check out all Jimmie48‘s photos from Monday in Palermo:

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2020 PALERMO LADIES OPEN:


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