Seed No.1 Karolina Pliskova and seed No.2 Sofia Kenin both lost their opening matches in the second round of the Western & Southern Open that relocated from Cincinnati to New York this year.
The 2016 Cincinnati champion Pliskova slammed down 11 aces but ruined her overall serve stats with nine double faults in a 7-5 6-4 defeat to Russian world No.41 Veronika Kudermetova.
“I tried to push every point on receiving,” said Kudermetova after her biggest career victory. “I think it was key. I tried to just keep going on her serve.”
The fourth-ranked Kenin had a frustrating return from the COVID-19 layoff, as she absolutely couldn’t find her game and literally couldn’t feel the ball as France’s Alize Cornet upset her 6-1 7-6(7) and recorded her first Top 5 victory since 2018.
The world No.60 Cornet was 5-2 up with two match points in the second set, but Kenin managed to force a tiebreak, even though she admitted that she has no idea how she managed to do it, given her lack of rhythm. Even though Kenin made five more winners than her opponent, her 53 unforced errors destroyed her chances of winning, as Cornet committed much less (29).