The Champions’ Way: Petkovic, Jankovic, Stosur All Victorious

Familiarity breeds success, they say, and Tuesday that was true for three former Volvo Car Open winners on Daniel Island.

Andrea Petkovic, Jelena Jankovic and Sam Stosur took different paths to victory on Tuesday, the defending champion Petkovic perhaps having the hardest of struggles in a 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 comeback win over Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa.

MORE: Wednesday’s Order of Play | Updated Draws | Tickets

“I didn’t feel it at all I was stressed because it never really crossed my mind I might lose,” Petkovic said after hard-fought win. “That’s actually the up side of being confident when you played well in a tournament before. Even though you’re playing badly and things are not going your way, you always have this belief in yourself that you’re somehow going to turn the match around. So that was really, really good for me.”

There was brief doubt for 2007 winner Jankovic, the 30-year-old Serbian giving up a match point in the second set against an inspired Tatjana Maria before overcoming the German, winning 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-1.

“It was not easy for me mentally when I lost the second set, but I… let all that frustration out and was able to play well in the third,” Jankovic said after the win. “I started playing aggressively again. I took control of the match and I finished it off nicely, so I’m glad I was able to do that.”

Both Petkovic and Jankovic move into the third round here while Stosur, champion in 2010, is into round two. The Australian, seeded ninth, was a 6-2, 6-4 victor over Sesil Karatantcheva to start the day.

“I always look forward to this tournament,” said the 2011 US Open champion. “It’s certainly one of, if not my favorite week of the year to be out on tour. It’s one of those things (where) as soon as I fly in, I instantly feel good about being here.”

There was plenty to cheer about for American fans as Sloane Stephens registered her first-ever win at the Cup in a battle with compatriot Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Down a set and 2-0, Stephens rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win. Madison Brengle, a Delaware native, also won in three sets, beating Edina Gallovits-Hall.

No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber went the distance for her win, as did eighth-seeded Caroline Garcia of France. Belinda Bencic, a breakout star last year as a semifinalist at age 17 won in straight sets, the No. 12 seed beating Australian Casey Dellacqua.

Doubles fans got their fill on Court 3, as a packed crowd watched defending champions Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova down Americans Madison Keys and Lisa Raymond in an entertaining battle, 7-5, 7-5. No. 3 doubles seeds Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan were upset victims, however, losing to Mattek-Sands and her partner Ajla Tomljanovic.

Other winners Tuesday included Andreea Mitu (over seed Varvara Lepchenko), Sara Sorribes Tormo (against seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova), 2014 finalist Jana Cepelova, Lucie Hradecka and Lara Arruabarrena.

Tuesday also was Ladies’ Day Out at the Volvo Car Open, with female fans partaking in activities around the grounds. Doubles standout Sania Mirza (partner to Martina Hingis) was the special guest at a luncheon Q&A, entertaining attendees with her wit and charm.

Petkovic ended her match with the ultimate girls’ party: A courtside dance with some encouraging fans near her players’ chair.

“Behind me… there were some really nice ladies, four ladies that were really cool,” Petkovic said smiling. “They were dancing and it was – how do you say that word? – right, contagious.” And on Petkovic dances into the third round.