Doubles play: Hrdinova eliminates doubles partner Pelletier in singles draw
Wednesday's USTA Tennis Classic of Troy featured two upsets, including one that struck a poignant chord between the No. 1-seeded doubles team in the tournament.
Eva Hrdinova upset No. 5-seed Marie-Eve Pelletier in three sets, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5.
It was a bittersweet win for Hrdinova.
“This isn't a normal match,” Hrdinova said. “We are good friends, and we play doubles together.”
Pelletier said the loss was tough, but won't affect how the two play as a team.
“It isn't easy (to play your doubles partner),” Pelletier said. “It took me a set to get into it. We just play our best and try as hard as we can. What happens on the court stays on the court.”
The pair started playing together in May, and won the first tournament in which they competed. Since teaming, they have won three championships together.
Hrdinova will play Ekaterina Afinogenova today in the second round.
The biggest upset of the day may have come when Ekaterina Shulaeva defeated No. 3-seeded Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets to advance to the second round.
“It may be an upset on paper, but at this level the girls are fighting for every point, every ball and every dollar,” Shulaeva said. “The girls on this circuit are hungry Š this is a great win for me.”
The difference for Shulaeva was keeping Lepchenko off-balance.
“I know she likes to attack, so I tried to hit to her backhand, because she has a better attack from her forehand.”
German Sandra Kloesel cruised past Leanne Baker of New Zealand, 6-1, 6-0. Sunitha Rao went to a tiebreaker in the second set with Carmen Klaschka, but emerged with a straight-sets victory, 6-0, 7-6, while Surina De Beer outlasted Susanna Lingman, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
“She really started to attack my second serve,” Lingman said. “I stopped moving as well as I could have toward the end of the match, so my shots weren't as penetrating as they should have been, and I couldn't move her off the court.”
Maria-Fernanda Alves took three sets to put away Vilmarie Castellvi, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Jelena Pandzic beat Kristina Brandi, 6-2, 6-2, while Gail Brodsky went three sets with Bettina Jozami before coming away with the 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 victory. Kimberly Couts also went three sets, defeating Alexa Guarachi, 6-7, 6-1, 6-0.
Svetlana Krivencheva couldn't make it out of the first round after a tough struggle in qualifying for the main draw Tuesday. On Wednesday, Krivencheva fell to No. 2 seed Maret Ani in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.
Alves and singles No. 1-seed Stephanie Dubois are the No. 3 doubles seed, and easily cruised past Michaela Johansson and Carmen Klaschka, 6-2, 6-1, while Angela Haynes and Mashona Washington slipped past Ekaterina Afinogenova and Angelina Gabueva, 6-0, 6-4.
Play resumes today at 10 a.m.