SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Hampton, Stephens Reach Final Qualifying Round
by Joe McGovern|
Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine led the field of 24 women who advanced through the first round of qualifying. Top seeded Bondarenko lived up to her position and eased past Great Britain’s Naomi Broady, 6-3, 6-0. She will next take on 1999 Wimbledon semi-finalist Mirjana Lucic, a 6-4, 7-6(6) victor over Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino.
Former World No. 11 Alize Cornet of France posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russia’s Nina Bratchikova, while Cornet’s countrywoman Aravane Rezai pushed past Edina Gallovits-Hall, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Urszula Radwanska of Poland dropped the first set but defeated Evgeniya Rodina, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, to move within one match of joining her sister, new World No. 4 Agnieszka, in the main draw.
Four American women posted victories on Monday. In the day’s longest match on either the men’s or women’s side, Varvara Lepchenko required two hours and 53 minutes but withstood the challenge from fellow American Alison Riske, 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-2. Jamie Hampton of Alabama needed half that time to move past Paula Ormaechea, 6-4, 6-3.
And local contenders Sloane Stephens of Fort Lauderdale and Madison Keys of Boca Raton also posted wins. Keys defeated No. 8 seed Olga Govortsova, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, and will play tricky Australian Anastasia Rodionova, while Stephens won against Indy De Vroome, 6-1, 6-3, and will face popular Indian player Sania Mirza in a worthwhile matchup on Tuesday.
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