Charleston Open: Americans Liu, Volynets lead Day 1 qualifying winners

Charleston Open: Americans Liu, Volynets lead Day 1 qualifying winners

Two hours and 32 minutes after she walked onto court, Claire Liu breathed a sigh of relief.

The former Wimbledon junior champion fought the hard way in her opening qualifying match on Saturday (March 30) at the Credit One Charleston Open, beating fellow American Sophie Chang 6-3 4-6 7-6(6) in a roller-coaster clash.

Theirs was one of a handful of qualifying first rounders that went the distance on what was a busy Day 1 of Family Weekend, with top seed Varvara Gracheva surviving in three sets over Dalayna Hewitt and No.10 Linda Fruhvirtova beating Nicole Melichar-Martinez 7-5 4-6 6-0.

No.2 seed Mai Hontama was upset in another thriller, losing to Gabriela Lee 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Americans Katie Volynets (pictured above), Usue Maitane Arconada, McCartney Kessler and Ann Li also registered wins in front of spirited first day crowds on Daniel Island.

MORE: Updated draws | Sunday order of play

Volynets is looking to follow up her upset over world No.6 Ons Jabeur at Indian Wells last month.

Sunday will see six players book their places in the main draw, with Volynets vs. Li featuring two seeded Americans. They’ll play third on the Althea Gibson Club Court.

Gracheva-Arconada will kick the day off on that court, while Liu and Fruhvirtova play second, both needing to bounce back quickly after long battles on Saturday.

Fan favorites Daria Saville of Australia and Great Britain’s Heather Watson will also play for a spot in the main draw. They’re the first match of the day on Court 3.

Ann Li Claire Liu Daria Saville Heather Watson Katie Volynets Linda Fruhvirtova McCartney Kessler Sachia Vickery Usue Maitane Arconada Varvara Gracheva