The young gun Dayana Yastremska has made a promising start in Cincinnati, defeating Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 36 minutes. The Ukrainian saved 11 out of 15 break chances she played against, stealing more than half of the return points to control the pace with six breaks and move over the finish line in straight sets.
Dayana opened a 4-1 lead in the first set against the struggling rival who broke back in game seven to level the score at 4-4. With no signs of nerves, Yastremska claimed the last two games for a 6-4, gathering the momentum before set number two where they traded four straight breaks to stay locked up at 4-4, just like in the opener.
In the same scenario, Dayana grabbed the final two games to seal the deal and celebrate the 25th victory in 2019. Yulia Putintseva took down Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 after two hours and 24 minutes, having the upper hand on the return in sets she won after no less than 15 double faults from the Latvian!
Putintseva suffered four breaks and that wasn’t enough to keep Ostapenko safe, unable to find the first serve and getting broken eight times to propel the rival into the second round. Ostapenko somehow emerged at the top in the second set but that was all we saw from her, allowing two breaks to Putintseva in the decider to end the run in the first round.
Venus Williams is playing in Cincinnati only for the seventh time, kicking off the campaign with a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over a qualifier Lauren Davis in an hour and 39 minutes. Venus saved seven out of eight break points, limiting the damage in her games and shifting the pressure to the other side of the net, delivering four breaks to march into the next round.
They broke each other in games six and seven in the opener, with Davis saving a set point at 4-5 to prolong it, wasting a couple of chances in game 11 before Williams stole her serve at love for a 7-5. The more experienced player fended off five break points in the third game of the second set before taking the last four games to wrap up the victory, the 15th in 2019.
Elise Mertens toppled the young American Catherine McNally 7-5, 6-0 in an hour and 28 minutes, losing serve once and dominating on the return after trailing 4-2 to claim 11 of the last 12 games and leave a teenager far behind.
McNally had an early lead but that wasn’t enough at least for a set, losing the edge and fading from the court in the rest of the encounter. Aliaksandra Sasnovich ousted Astra Sharma 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, dropping only ten points in service games in sets she won and recovering quickly after set number two to race towards the finish line.