By Benjamin Snyder
With 41 matches to be played in total on Tuesday, the Williams sisters took center stage for the women’s tournament and won.
In prime time and in front of a packed Center Court, 14-time major champion Serena Williams defeated the qualifier from Greece Eleni Daniilidou 6-3, 6-4 under the lights. For the younger Williams, the win marks her 18th consecutive since falling in the first round of the French Open. Since then, she’s collected titles at Wimbledon and Stanford. Additionally, she left with the gold medal in both singles and doubles at the Olympics in London.
Also a winner on Tuesday was older sister Venus Williams, who defeated Maria Kirilenko in the day’s first match on Center Court. The seven-time major champion and Olympics gold medalist in doubles with Serena defeated the No. 12 seed 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2.
The No. 3 seed Samantha Stosur of Australia needed three sets to defeat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain. The defending US Open champion came back from 0-4 in the final set to take six straight games for a spot into the third round.
Johanna Larsson scored the biggest upset of the day by defeating Carlsbad finalist Marion Bartoli in straight sets. The qualifier from Sweden took out Bartoli 6-4, 6-2 at night in a little under 90 minutes. The 2006 Wimbledon runner-up struggled especially on serve, committing 13 double faults total.
Ekaterina Makarova, meanwhile, recorded another upset in the women’s event by defeating the No. 15 seed Nadia Petrova, who retired when trailing her compatriot 7-6(8), 3-1.
Sloane Stephens, 19, claimed the third win for American women at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on Tuesday by taking out Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets. The Floridian, who comes to Cincinnati after a semifinal run at Washington, is currently ranked a career-high No. 49.
Stephens faces fellow wild card Camila Giorgi of Italy in the next round.
The No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber, a Wimbledon semifinalist this year, needed three sets to defeat lucky loser Timea Babos in the second Cincinnati appearance of her career. The German finds herself in the third round this year after receiving a first round bye.
Another lucky loser, Anna Tatishvilli, proved more successful in her bid into the second round than Babos. She defeated the No. 31-ranked Klara Zakopalova in straight sets.
Also into the second round with victories on Tuesday are No. 17 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a straight sets winner over Carla Suarez Navarro, Chanelle Scheepers when opponent Christina McHale of the United States retired, Sorana Cirstea, who beat Yanina Wickmayer in three sets and Italy’s Roberta Vinci, who took out the youngest player in the main draw, 17-year old Madison Keys.
Qualifiers to advance include Yaroslava Shvedova, a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros this year, Sesil Karatancheva, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Kiki Bertens, and Andrea Hlavackova, who defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States 6-3, 7-5.