Former Champs Petkovic, Stephens, Bertens Survive Opening Tests

If the theme of the day was former champions at the Volvo Car Open, it was a good camp to be in for Andrea Petkovic, Sloane Stephens and Kiki Bertens.

Each advanced Tuesday on Daniel Island – though in varying fashion, and it’s Stephens and Bertens, after first-round byes, who are the first two players into round three.

The rest of the second round will be completed Wednesday.

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Petko, winner here in 2014, was rock solid in a 6-0 6-4 effort over Varvara Lepchenko. The expressive German (pictured above) even danced a little on court following the win, though she admitted she still wanted to learn “The Charleston.”

Stephens, playing here for the first time since her 2016 title, was tested in full against Sara Sorribes Tormo, but in the end won in straight sets, 7-6(4) 7-6(4) in two hours and 37 minutes.

“She slices a lot… She doesn’t play like most of the girls play,” said Stephens, the No. 1 seed here. “It’s tricky to play against her…. so I was happy to get through.”

Bertens, the defending champ, played the late-night match, winning 6-2 6-1 over qualifier Martina Trevisan.

It was a busy day around the grounds at the Family Circle Tennis Center: No. 16 seed Petra Martic won in three sets over Amanda Anisimova of the U.S.; Danielle Collins won an all-American battle over Madison Brengle; No. 12 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu survived in three dramatic sets; and No. 15 seed Maria Sakkari needed to go the distance, too.

All eyes were also on Charleston teen Emma Navarro, the 17 year old wild card making her WTA debut in an evening match against Laura Siegemund, a semifinalist here in 2017. While Navarro had the crowd’s backing, she earned herself a set point at 5-4 in the first.

Siegemund would find her range from there, saving the set point and then winning the next three games. In the end, it was a 7-5 6-4 win for the German. But, we’re sure we have plenty to look forward to in the future for Navarro.

In doubles, top seeds Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke barely survived, while wins were also registered for Raquel Atawo and Katarina Srebotnik, as well as for Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Alicja Rosolska.