Day 2 wrap: Charleston’s Rogers roars back for home win; Azarenka makes triumphant return
“The crowd sounds a little bit different here than anywhere else for me.”
While Shelby Rogers roared back to victory on Tuesday at the Credit One Charleston Open against Danielle Collins, a packed crowd inside Credit One Stadium let her feel it.
The 30-year-old Mt. Pleasant native is back in round two at home for the first time since 2019, rallying to beat the 2022 Australian Open runner-up, 6-7(2) 6-4 6-1.
“Any win here is super special for me,” Rogers explained to reporters. “There’s nothing that Charleston hasn’t seen me do on the court, so I’m at a place now where I feel I can just be free, be myself and play my game.”
The world No. 44 hit eight aces and was broken just twice in the three-set affair.
Shelby was one of several familiar faces to win through on a day that was packed with action, joined by fellow Americans Madison Keys, the 2019 champion, major winner Sofia Kenin and youngsters Caty McNally and Hailey Baptiste in the ‘W’ column.
Keys got off to a hot 4-0 start against another local, Emma Navarro, before surviving a tough two-set test, 6-4 6-3.
“I knew it was going to obviously be tough playing Emma,” Keys, 28, told reporters after. “Overall, I’m just really happy to get a first win on clay.”
Keys is now 18-8 in the Lowcountry, having made her debut here 10 years ago, in 2013.
— Credit One Charleston Open (@CharlestonOpen) April 5, 2023
In the evening session, two Grand Slam champs went toe-to-toe as Victoria Azarenka pulled off her own comeback, beating Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-3 6-2 in just over two hours.
It marks the first time the two-time major champ is back in Charleston since 2010.
2022 runner-up Ons Jabeur closed out the evening’s play, beating Lesia Tsurenko 6-3 6-3.
Spain’s Paula Badosa, ranked No. 2 in the world here just a year ago, opened the day with a 6-3 6-1 effort over Mayar Sherif.
Spirited crowds took in the action throughout the day at LTP Daniel Island, with 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez looking very strong in her first match on clay with a win over Evgeniya Rodina.
American Caroline Dolehide stopped the resurgent run of 2009 champ Sabine Lisicki, while Anna Kalinskaya won the longest match of the tournament so far, holding off Alizé Cornet in three hours, 12 minutes on the Althea Gibson Club Court.
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