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WTA roundup: Belinda Bencic survives, Sloane Stephens falls in Charleston

Sportsnaut
Mar 31, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Belinda Bencic (SUI) hits a backhand against Naomi Osaka (JPN)(not pictured) in a women's singles semifinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied from a set down to defeat China’s Xiyu Wang 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 Tuesday in the first round of the Credit One Charleston Open in Charleston, S.C.

Bencic fell behind 3-0 and 5-2 in the second-set tiebreaker before ripping off the final five points to avoid a straight-sets defeat. She saved three of five break points and won 44 of 60 (73.3 percent) first-service points en route to victory in two hours, 26 minutes.

Sloane Stephens was on the wrong end of a similar result. The American 13th seed fell to Qinwen Zheng of China 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. Stephens, the 2016 Charleston champion, saved 10 of 16 break points but could not match Zheng’s 84.8 percent success rate on first-service points (28 of 33).

Poland’s Magda Linette and the U.S.’s Coco Vandeweghe both won three-setters in two hours, 28 minutes. Linette defeated American Katie Volynets 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) while Vandeweghe beat Russia’s Anastasia Gasanova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Two matches were suspended and the night session was canceled due to inclement weather and the possibility of a tornado in the Charleston area. Ukraine’s Katarina Zavatska was beating third seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 2-3 in a second-round match, and No. 14 seed Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia was leading Sophie Chang of the U.S. 7-5, 4-4 in a first-round duel.

Copa Colsanitas

Top seed Camila Osorio of Colombia escaped an upset bid when Ylena In-Albon of Switzerland retired in the third set of their first-round match at Bogota, Colombia. Osorio advanced 7-6 (4), 2-6, 2-2 (ret.).

While Osorio lived to see another day, four other seeded players lost. No. 4 seed Panna Udvardy of Hungary fell to Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska 7-5, 6-1. Yastremska made headlines in March when she reached the final at Lyon, France, shortly after escaping Russia’s invasion of her home country.

Colombia’s Yuliana Lizarazo pleased the home crowd with a 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2 upset of sixth seed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia that lasted two hours, 43 minutes. Seventh seed Astra Sharma of Australia also lost in three sets, with Suzan Lamens of the Netherlands prevailing 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

Elina Avanesyan of Russia dismantled eighth seed Harriet Dart of Great Britain 6-1, 6-2.

–Field Level Media