Monday wrap: Kanepi stops home hope Rogers in three-hour thriller

Monday wrap: Kanepi stops home hope Rogers in three-hour thriller

Shelby Rogers was on the cusp of victory on Monday at the Credit One Charleston Open, but couldn’t cross the finish line. Amanda Anisimova, Linda Fruhvirtova and Alize Cornet were among winners on Day 1.

Kaia Kanepi just wouldn’t give up.

Down a set and a break to Charleston native Shelby Rogers, the big-hitting Estonian stayed the course as Rogers served for the match in the second set, eventually winning their Credit One Charleston Open first round that turned into an epic – just a touch over three hours – with Kanepi emerging 6-7(2) 7-5 6-2.

Kanepi’s joy matched the disappointment for Rogers, who has had some of her best career results in the last year, and entered the tournament ranked No. 44 in the world. A bad fall late in the second set appeared to hamper Rogers, who needed a medical time out, and then left the court between sets.

“Definitely not the outcome I wanted tonight,” Rogers said after the loss. “I guess I have to say the cliche: ‘It’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get back up.'”

“When you walk out on court and you hear fans cheering my name, it’s really special,” she added. “You can always learn from your losses… even ones like tonight.”

In Kanepi’s only previous appearance in Charleston, the 36-year-old reached the third round in 2019.

Updated Singles Draw

Earlier in the day, 16-year-old Czech player Linda Fruhvirtova returned to the site where she got her first career WTA main draw win.

She had another first on Monday: Capturing the maiden match played in the Credit One Stadium, rallying to beat Ana Konjuh 4-6 6-1 6-3.

“It’s beautiful and I’m honored to have been able to be the first to play in it,” Fruhvirtova said of the new stadium in an interview on the Tennis Channel.

Monday results: Wins for Cornet, Anisimova and more 
Seeds Alize Cornet and Amanda Anisimova both won on stadium, as well, and both with a 6-0 7-5 scoreline. Cornet beat Alycia Parks of the U.S., while Anisimova stopped her fellow American Sachia Vickery.

“I’m really happy with today and how I closed it out,” Anisimova said after her win. “I’m trying to find my rhythm and start off the clay season well.”

No such rhythm would be found by two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, the No. 11 seed retiring early in set two against Magdalena Frech. Frech, from Poland, won a tight first set 7-6(6) and – after seeing the trainer twice – Kvitova packed up her bag and headed off court due to a left thigh injury.

In the late match on stadium, Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania beat China’s Wang Xinyu 7-6(2) 6-4, with the clock having already struck midnight before the two would finish.

Elsewhere, winners included Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, American Claire Liu, Italy’s Jasmine Paolini and No. 16 seed Zhang Shuai of China, who each won on the Althea Gibson Club Court.

Other singles winners: Hungary’s Anna Bondar; Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine; Ekaterina Alexandrova; and Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway.

The one doubles match of the day was played to a packed crowd on Court 3, as the No. 3 seeds Alexa Guarachi and Jessica Pegula beat top singles seeds Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka.

See Tuesday's schedule

ALIZÉ CORNET Amanda Anisimova Charleston KAIA KANEPI Shelby Rogers