Americans Pegula, Townsend Score Upsets as Wozniacki, Sabalenka Win

Not a single seeded player, from 1-16, had lost leading into Wednesday at the Volvo Car Open.

And then, in a flurry, the No. 4 and 7 seeds, respectively, were out.

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Former Charleston trainee Jessica Pegula, 25, launched the biggest upset of the tournament with a 6-4 6-2 decisive effort over the fourth seed Anastasija Sevastova, a semifinalist here last year. Not soon thereafter, Atlanta’s Taylor Townsend scored the biggest win over her career, beating No. 7 seed Julia Goerges 6-4 7-6(0) in front of a full house on the Althea Gibson Club Court.

With that, a wild Wednesday was born.

“[This is] super special because I’m from the area,” said Pegula, who spent part of her childhood in Hilton Head and then – in recent years – lived in Mount Pleasant while she trained right here at the Family Circle Tennis Center. “I grew up learning how to play tennis down here. I also had one of my biggest results here when I was 19, so I had a good feeling this week regardless of practicing and all that stuff.”

Pegula (pictured above) and Townsend are both into the third round, where Pegula will meet No. 16 Petra Martic who won on Wednesday, while Townsend is due up against No. 9 Belinda Bencic.

No. 3 seed Aryna Sabalenka survived her Charleston debut in three sets, coming back to defeat qualifier Kateryna Kozlova, 3-6 6-6 6-3.

Local star Shelby Rogers was, also, trying to continue the upset trend, and even had a match point, but eventually succumbed to No. 10 seed Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open winner, 4-6 6-3 7-6(4).

Former winner here Caroline Wozniacki wasted no time in a 6-2 6-2 win over Laura Siegemund, while another former champ, 2014 winner Andrea Petkovic, fell in two tough to Maria Sakkari, 6-3 6-0.

Danielle Collins, the American, also won, beating Aliona Bolsova in straight sets on the Club Court. 

Veteran Kaia Kanepi scored the second biggest upset of the day, beating No. 6 seed Elise Mertens 0-6 6-0 7-5.

No. 14 Ajla Tomljanovic won in straights over Tamara Zidansek, while Monica Puig continued the upset trend, beating No. 13 Sonya Kenin 6-4 6-4. Seeds Bencic and Mihaela Buzarnescu won, beating Allie Kiick and Lauren Davis, respectively.

In doubles, teenage wild cards Chloe Beck and Emma Navarro fought from a set and a break down to beat Darija Jurak and Ostapenko 1-6 6-3 1-0 [13-11] in front of a boisterous crowd on the Club Court. 

No. 8 seed Madison Keys, a finalist here in 2015, featured in the evening match against German Tatjana Maria.