New Haven, CT, United States (4E Sports) – Seeded players Roberta Vinci and Dominika Cibulkova bit the dust in the first round of the New Haven Open at Yale Monday.
Vinci, seeded fifth in the tournament, lost to Carla Suarez Navarro, 7-5, 6-3, while Klara Zakopalova ousted the eighth seed Cibulkova, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“It was a very good match,” said Suarez Navarro, who improved to 4-1 against Vinci. “Vinci came from Cincinnati and was a little bit tired, I think, but it was still tough. She is playing very good this year. It was a good win for me.”
Suarez Navarro is in for another tough match in the second round as she will take on Simona Halep, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Daniela Hantuchova.
Klara Zakopalova, who won for the third straight time against Cibulkova, has promising Puerto Rican teen Monica Puig as second-round opponent. Puig earlier beat Su-Wei Hsieh, 7-6 (4), 6-1.
Sixth seed Sloane Stephens avoided the fate of Vinci and Cibulkova as she carved out a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over 18-year-old qualifier Anna Schmiedlova. Stephens next takes on Julia Goerges, who downed Bojana Jovanovski, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
Ekaterina Makarova advanced against top seed Sara Errani with a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 (5) win over Aleksandra Wozniak.
Elena Vesnina set up a second-round clash with second seed Angelique Kerber when her opponent Ayumi Morita retired due to an apparent injury in the first set. Vesnina was leading, 2-0, when Morita quit.
Over at the Winston-Salem Open, two-time defending champion John Isner and top seed Tomas Berdych, the 2012 finalist, both announced their withdrawals citing hip and shoulder injuries, respectively.
“It is really unfortunate I have to withdraw from the Winston-Salem Open, one of my favourite tournaments of the year,” said Isner. “I’ve had so much success playing in front of great crowds as well as my friends and family.”
“This was a really tough decision but with injuries taking me out of the Australian Open and Wimbledon, I need to fully heal prior to the US Open,” added Isner, fresh from a runner-up effort in Cincinnati.
American James Blake began his Winston-Salem Open campaign by defeating countryman Rhyne Williams, 6-1, 7-5, in one hour and 12 minutes.
Blake will go for his 10th match win of the season when he next faces fifth-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire.
In another all-American first round match, qualifier Steve Johnson cruised past Bobby Reynolds, 6-1, 6-2, to set a meeting with second seed Italian Andreas Seppi.
Other first-round winners were Guido Pella, Ricardas Berankis, Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Guillaume Rufin and Nicolas Mahut.