The Volvo Car Open kicked off with first round matches on Monday and second round play on Tuesday.
There two night matches Monday featured young American players. At 7 p.m., Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan played American Caty McNally, but Rybakina was forced to retire due to a gastrointestinal illness. The other all-American match featured Lauren Davis and Madison Brengle. Davis claimed the match 6-4, 6-2, and moved on to face fellow American Sofia Kenin in the next round.
The top eight seeds have first round byes and will take to the courts on Wednesday. No. 4 seed Kiki Bertens withdrew from the tournament Sunday due to a leg injury. As a result, No. 9 seed Marketa Vondrousova will take her spot and will also receive a first round bye. The other top seeds include: Top seed Ashleigh Barty, second seed Sofia Kenin, third seed Petra Kvitova, fifth seed Belinda Bencic, sixth seed Garbine Muguruza, seventh seed Elise Mertens, and defending 2019 VCO champion Madison Keys as the eighth seed.
Earlier in the day, 2014 champion Andrea Petkovic withdrew with a lower back injury, replaced by Harriet Dart of Great Britain. However, Dart then lost to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, 7-6 (8), 6-4. Also withdrawing Monday was Italy’s Camila Giorgi. She was replaced by Caroline Dolehide, who played her first-round match against fellow American Hailey Baptiste on Tuesday.
Others moving on with Monday wins were: Misaki Doi (def. Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-3, 6-3), Zarina Diyas (def. Natalia Vikhlyantseva, 6-3, 6-1), Ajla Tomljanovic (def. Christina McHale, 6-3, 6-0), Veronika Kudermetova (def. Desirae Krawczyk, 6-1, 6-2), Kurumi Nara (def. Francesca Di Lorenzo, 6-2, 6-2), Magdalena Frech (def. Grace Min, 6-2, 6-4) and Storm Sanders (def. Asia Muhammad, 6-2, 6-4).
Returning Champion Madison Keys
Keys enters the tournament in the midst of a comeback. She missed the start of the season after testing positive for COVID-19 prior to the start of the Australian Open in January. She noted she had a very mild case with little to no symptoms. She did not return to action until March, in part due to a neck injury.
The 26-year-old Keys is currently ranked No. 24 in the world. She’s only played five matches in 2021, most recently being knocked out in the first round of the Miami Open. Keys starts the tournament against fellow American and former VCO champion Sloane Stephens. Stephens, ranked No. 57, faced Wang Xinyu of China, ranked No. 147, winning 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.
Local players Shelby Rogers and Emma Navarro played their first round matches on Tuesday.
Rogers, ranked No. 52, defeated Kristina Miladenovic of France, ranked No. 55, 6-4, 6-3.
Navarro will go head to head with Renata Zarazua of Mexico, who is ranked No. 141. Results for Navarro’s match were not available at press time.
Although you can’t watch the competition in the stands, the Tennis Channel has live coverage all week. Check your TV providers listings for times and channels.
– Compiled by Sue Detar and Boots Gifford