Friday, August 7, 2015

Lepchenko ousts top seed Wozniacki at Stanford

Varvara Lepchenko stunned top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki
6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic
at Stanford. Photo by Mal Taam
   Caroline Wozniacki's first stay at the Bank of the West Classic was brief.
   One match, to be exact.
   The top-seeded Wozniacki of Denmark lost to unseeded Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday night in the second round at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on the Stanford campus.
   Wozniacki, ranked fifth after reaching No. 1 in 2010, received a first-round bye and did not enter doubles.
   Her loss represented another blow to the tournament's star power. Top-ranked Serena Williams withdrew on Friday with a right elbow injury, and three seeds, including rising American Madison Keys, lost on Wednesday.
   It was Wozniacki's first match since she reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon one month ago. Also, she played with her left calf wrapped and her left knee taped.
   "I'm not 100 percent, but I still thought I could tough it out, play and still win," the 25-year-old Wozniacki, who lost to Lepchenko for the first time in five matches, told reporters. "But it's the first match back after a long break, and everything's fast. It didn't really give me a chance to get a rhythm. It wasn't pretty out there, that's for sure."
Wozniacki hadn't played since Wimbledon and was less than
100 percent physically. Photo by Mal Taam
   Lepchenko, a 29-year-old left-hander, pulled off a big upset in the second round at Stanford for the second straight year. She knocked off No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska en route to the 2014 semifinals.
   However, Lepchenko had lost in the first round of her last seven events before Stanford.
   "I took some time to get back into shape," said Lepchenko, a native of Uzbekistan who became a U.S. citizen in 2011. "Right now, I feel like I am in better condition than I was earlier in the year."
   Lepchenko edged 5-foot-11 (1.81-meter) Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the first round. 
   "The first match helped coming into this match," admitted Lepchenko, ranked 60th after climbing to a career-high No. 19 in 2012. "I felt the ball wasn't coming at me as fast. My first match, it really seemed to be coming fast." 
No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska avoided a second straight
upset in the second round at Stanford. Photo by Mal Taam
   Radwanska, seeded second again, appeared to be on her way to another early exit. But the 26-year-old Polish star won the last 12 games to beat qualifier Misaki Doi of Japan 1-6, 6-2, 6-0. 
   The match was postponed one day to give Radwanska more time to recover from a lower-back problem.
   Fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic had her own troubles in a 7-5, 6-2 victory over 44-year-old Japanese qualifier Kimiko Date-Krumm. Pliskova, 6-foot-1 (1.86 meters) fought off two set points serving at 4-5, 15-40 in the first set.
   Fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany beat Ana Konjuh, a powerful 17-year-old Croatian, 6-3, 6-4. The left-handed Kerber overcame an early break in the second set against Konjuh, who became the WTA's youngest titlist in nine years when she won Nottingham on grass in June.    
   Tonight's marquee singles quarterfinal at 7 will feature the last two runners-up in the Bank of the West Classic: Radwanska (2013) and Kerber.
   In the other quarterfinals, Pliskova will face Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia, eighth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine will meet Alison Riske of Atlanta, and Lepchenko will play Mona Barthel of Germany.
   The top seeds in doubles, Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan, lost to Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine and Tatjana Maria of Germany 0-6, 6-2 [10-7] in the quarterfinals. 
BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
At Stanford
Second-round singles
   Angelique Kerber (5), Germany, def. Ana Konjuh, Croatia, 6-4, 6-3.
   Agnieszka Radwanska (2), Poland, def. Misaki Doi, Japan, 1-6, 6-2, 6-0.
   Karolina Pliskova (4), Czech Republic, def. Kimiko Date-Krumm, Japan, 7-5, 6-2.
   Varvara Lepchenko, United States, def. Caroline Wozniacki (1), Denmark, 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles quarterfinals
   Kateryna Bondarenko, Ukraine, and Tatjana Maria, Germany, def. Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan (1), Taiwan, 0-6, 6-2 [10-7].
   Yi-Fan Xu and Saisai Zheng, China, def. Mona Barthel and Sabine Lisicki, Germany, 3-6, 6-4 [10-5].
   Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada, and Alicja Rosolska (3), Poland, def. Asia Muhammad, United States, and Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, 6-4, 6-2.
Today's schedule
Stadium Court
(Starting at noon)
   Karolina Pliskova (4), Czech Republic, vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia.
   Elina Svitolina (8), Ukraine, vs. Alison Riske, United States.
(Not before 4 p.m.)
   Varvara Lepchenko, United States, vs. Mona Barthel, Germany. 
(Not before 7 p.m.)
   Agnieszka Radwanska (2), Poland, vs. Angelique Kerber (5), Germany.
   Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja (2), Spain, vs. Chin-Wei Chan, Taiwan, and Darija Jurak, Croatia.

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