WTA

Sakkari upset by Vekic as Kasatkina and Pliskova advance through first round of San Diego Open

By Sports Desk October 12, 2022

Donna Vekic produced a spectacular second set to shock world number seven Maria Sakkari 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 in the first round of the San Diego Open on Tuesday.

After a hard-fought first set where both women were able to convert one of their four break point opportunities, Vekic took control in the tie-breaker and carried that momentum in the second set.

Vekic won 65 per cent of her service points in the second set, while Sakkari could only muster a 47-per-cent success rate, despite having a significant edge in first-serve accuracy (79 per cent to Vekic's 53 per cent).

The Croatian only had two break point opportunities, and that is all she needed, taking both to run away with one of the biggest wins of her career.

Vekic will play Karolina Pliskova in the second round after the Czech defeated America's Caroline Dolehide 6-3 6-4.

Pliskova, ranked 22nd in the world, had no issue with the world number 181 in one of Tuesday's biggest mismatches, nabbing a break-to-love in the first set before taking a quick double-break to begin the second.

World number 11 Daria Kasatkina was too strong for Leylah Fernandez, cruising to a 6-2 6-2 victory in exactly one hour.

Sloane Stephens earned a shot against world number five Aryna Sabalenka in the second round after getting the better of Switzerland's Jil Teichmann 6-1 7-6 (7-2).

World number 13 Garbine Muguruza was clearly not at 100 per cent, retiring hurt after losing the first five games of her match against China's Qinweng Zheng, and Coco Gauff will resume her contest against Robin Montgomery leading 6-3 3-2 after rain halted the action for the day.

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