Chanelle Scheepers, of South Africa, reaches to return a shot during a match against Magdalena Rybarikova, of Slovakia, at the City Open tennis tournament, Monday, July 30, 2012, in Washington. Rybarikova won 6-2, 6-1. (AP)
Third-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States survived a
three-set opening match against Bulgaria's Sesil Karatantcheva 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in
the first round of the Citi Open on Monday.
Second-seeded Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa and fifth-seeded Barbora
Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic were not so lucky.
American Brian Baker, a shock participant in the round of 16 at Wimbledon
earlier this year, dropped the final two sets to Frenchman Florent Serra and
was eliminated, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the men's tournament.
His more experience compatriot James Blake did progress, with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
triumph over No. 5 seed Pablo Andujar.
The 32-year-old Blake's 2012 campaign had been a losing one entering
Washington, site of his first title 10 years ago. Coming off knee surgery in
November, he lost eight of his nine matches this year.
"I was a little falsely optimistic earlier in the year," Blake said.
"I really thought I was able to get out there and compete. I don't have
the ability to compete with these guys unless I'm 100 percent. My legs feel
In the late match, sixth-seeded Jeremy Chardy beat his French compatriot
Edouard Roger-Vasselin 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Scheepers, ranked No. 42 in the world, fell 6-2, 6-1 to Magdalena Rybarikova of
Slovakia. Zahlavova Strycova was beaten by Romania's Edina Gallovits-Hall, 7-5,
After losing the final three games of the second set, including two on her own
serve, Stephens opened the third by breaking Karatantcheva twice for a 3-0
lead. The 19-year-old American, who reached the fourth round at the French Open
and the third round at Wimbledon this year, tacked on two more breaks of serve
No. 7 seed Coco Vandeweghe of the United States avoided an upset by defeating
Erika Sema of Japan 6-4, 6-1. Eighth-seeded Olga Govortsova topped Karolina
Pliskova 6-2, 6-2, and Leonardo Mayer beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (5), 7-6
(8) to advance to the second round.
France's Aravane Rezai recovered from being down a break in the third set and
edged American Melanie Oudin 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5).
The Washington tournament, a staple on the ATP schedule, is combining with the
WTA Tour for the first time.
Mardy Fish, the top-seeded men's player, is scheduled to play his opening match
on Tuesday. Fish, the No. 13 ranked player, skipped the Olympics after missing
several weeks on tour earlier this year following a procedure to correct a
Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is the top seed in the women's draw.