After 32-player events in Palermo, Prague and Lexington, the twice as big Western & Southern Open kicked off in New York with the busy Saturday’s schedule that included ten singles matches.
Coco Gauff‘s semifinal appearance at the Top Seed Open in Lexington established her as a dark horse contender in “Cincinnati”, but the 16-year-old American was brushed aside by 13th seed Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-3 in just 65 minutes.
Presenting a printed tank and skort from New Balance’s latest collection, Gauff won just 60% of points on her first serve, while Sakkari won 21 of 25 (84%).
Donna Vekic‘s tour resumption is not off to a good start. After a second-round loss to Elisabetta Coccieretto in Palermo, the Croat was completely let down by her serve in the first round against Victoria Azarenka at the Western & Southern Open. In a colorful matchup of players wearing the Nike collection inspired by Andre Agassi’s vintage fashion, Vekic made seven double faults and only 49% of her first serves got in, while Azarenka hit seven aces and won seven out of her nine service games en route to a 6-2 6-3 victory.
Venus Williams will not give a lot of exposure to her EleVen Wonder Woman apparel and her K-Swiss Aero Knit tennis shoes, as she lost in the first round to Dayana Yastremska, a player 20 years her junior. Yastremska twisted her ankle in the first set and her thoughts were all on the possible injury, but she managed to regroup from losing five of the final six games in the opening set and work her way to a 5-7 6-2 7-5 victory in her first meeting with the elder Williams sister.
The highest seed in action on Saturday was No.9 Elena Rybakina, who was upset by Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5 7-6(6) in a very close match that included a total of 13 aces and 13 double faults.