Fans enjoyed cool temperatures and sizzling tennis as qualifying play kicked off on a sunny Saturday at the Western & Southern Open.
Several up-and-coming Americans hit the court on Day 1 with Texas native Mitchell Kreuger, 18-year-old Sofia Kenin, former junior No. 1 Taylor Townsend and wild card Christian Harrison scoring big wins and spots in the second round.
Rising star Reilly Opelka narrowly missed advancing with his follow Americans, falling for the second straight week in a third-set tiebreak, this time to Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov. Florida’s Jennifer Brady had better luck in her deciding set, saving a match point to beat Lara Arruabarrena on 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(9). In the match of the day, Magda Linette took out another US hopeful, defeating Caroline Dolehide 6-7(4), 7-6(6), 7-6(3) in three hours and 22 minutes.
Former Roland Garros semifinalist Ernests Gulbis is slowly working his way back after injury with a straight-set win over second-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia. He’ll meet veteran Mikhail Youzhny in one of Sunday’s must-see matches.
In more WTA action, Wimbledon semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova took out former top-10 player Andrea Petkovic on Center Court. Later on the big stage, Cincinnati native Nicole Gibbs ran into trouble against 37-year-old former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. Gibbs snagged the first set in a tiebreak before Schiavone found her rhythm, fist-pumping her way into the final round of qualifying with a 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-1 victory.
Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig also advanced in Cincinnati with a routine 6-2, 6-2 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo. She awaits Mariana Duque Marino for a chance to clinch a main draw spot on the one-year anniversary of her historic gold medal win at the Rio Olympics.
If you’re in the area (and even if you’re not!), don’t miss your chance to come out and watch the final round of qualifying, plus men’s first-round action on Sunday. Adults can grab a grounds pass for just $20 and kids under 12 cost just $10. Gates open at 8:00 – see you in the morning!
Full Qualifying Results
Day 2 Schedule