Eighth seed Donna Vekic was the biggest upset on the first day of main draw play at the Portoroz Open in Slovenia on Monday. Fellow Croat, Ana Konjuh came from a set down to oust Vekic 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 55 minutes.
Konjuh saved 14 of the 18 break points she faced while converting four of the eight break points, she had on Vekic’s serve. Vekic, despite her defeat, went on to win more points for the match as compared to her opponent – 86 to the latter’s 83.
In the second round, Konjuh will play Kristina Mladenovic. The Frenchwoman needed an hour and 55 minutes to eke out a victory against Slovenian wildcard, Nika Radisic. Mladenovic dropped the opening set but clinched a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory for herself in the end.
Speaking after her win, as quoted by the tournament, Mladenovic said, “Nothing is easy in tennis and every start is difficult. I was focused from the very beginning. I didn’t know the competition. It is usually the case that in her position, being a young actress, there is no such pressure. Some details in the first set were worse. Next, I found the rhythm, I showed a better game. I found my focus, I was more calm and I won.”
Portoroz Open: Sorana Cirstea dominates Heather Watson
Fourth-seeded Sorana Cirstea, the other only seed to play her first-round match on Monday, advanced safely to the second round. The Romanian beat Heather Watson 6-1, 6-3 in just 61 minutes.
Cirstea won 92% of her first-serve points to Watson’s 56%. She also saved three of the four break points she faced while converting six of 11 break points on the Briton’s serve. Cirstea finished with 58 points to Watson’s 32 for the match.
In the second round, Cirstea will play either Tereza Martincova or Kristina Kucova.
American Bernarda Pera also reached the second round of the Portoroz Open. Pera defeated France’s Fiona Ferro 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 31 minutes. She awaits either seventh seed Rebecca Peterson or a qualifier next.