Teenager Linda Fruhvirtova victorious in return to site of first career win

Teenager Linda Fruhvirtova victorious in return to site of first career win

Sixteen-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova scored her first career WTA match win here in Charleston a year ago. Seeds Amanda Anisimova and Alize Cornet also scored victories. Petra Kvitova retired in her match.

The green clay of Daniel Island is feeling good to teenager Linda Fruhvirtova once again.

One year after the 16-year-old Czech player won her first-ever WTA main draw-level match here in a pop-up WTA 250 event, the breakout star returned to her winning ways on Monday, beating Ana Konjuh in the first round of the Credit One Charleston Open.

Fruvirtova, playing the first-ever match inside the renovated Credit One Stadium, rallied from a set down to win 4-6 6-1 6-3 over the Croatian world No. 62.

“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.

Fruhvirtova, a wild card who is ranked No. 188, awaits the winner of No. 10 seed Belinda Bencic and Wang Xiyu, who will play on Tuesday.

Draws & Order of Play

Fruhvirtova made the fourth round in Miami last week, beating Elise Mertens before falling to Paula Badosa. Her win in Charleston in 2021 was at the MUSC Health Women’s Open event, which took place at the same venue as the Charleston Open.

The victory was over Alize Cornet (Fruhvirtova would also beat Emma Navarro in her second match). On Monday, Cornet, No. 12 seed here who made the Australian Open quarterfinals earlier this year, won in the second match on stadium, beating 21-year-old American Alycia Parks 6-0 7-5. Cornet rallied from 1-5 down in the second to win the last six games of the match.

American Amanda Anisimova, the No. 15 seed, held off a tough challenge in set two from compatriot Sachia Vickery by the same score as Cornet, 6-0 7-5.

“I’m really happy with today and how I closed it out,” Anisimova said on Tennis Channel 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 the court.

Kvitova cited a left thigh injury as the reason for her withdrawal.

On the Althea Gibson Club Court, it was Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina who opened her Charleston Open campaign with a ‘W’, too, beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4 6-4.

American Claire Liu scored the first win of the event for home fans, beating lucky loser Heather Watson 6-4 6-2. Jasmine Paolini of Italy beat qualifier Gabriela Lee 6-2 6-3 in the third match on the Club Court.

Also in the winner’s circle: Hungary’s Anna Bondar 6-1 6-4 over Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands; as well as Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine, who beat Yuan Yue 6-4 6-2.

Ekaterina Alexandrova stopped American Allie Kiick, 6-1 6-1, while Ulrikke Eikeri won an all-qualifier battle 5-7 6-2 6-2 over Nadiia Kichenok.

No. 16 seed Zhang Shuai of China beat American Francesca Di Lorenzo 6-2 6-4.

Still to come on Monday evening is Charleston native Shelby Rogers, who is set to headline the first evening session in the new venue.

Rogers will take on Kaia Kanepi. That match is to be followed by Irina-Camelia Begu versus Wang Xinyu.

ALIZÉ CORNET HEATHER WATSON Shelby Rogers