Cincinnati Open: Amanda Anisimova, Ekaterina Alexandrova start off with upsets

2020 titlist, Victoria Azarenka survived the Kaia Kanepi test

by Abbey Johnson
Cincinnati Open: Amanda Anisimova, Ekaterina Alexandrova start off with upsets

There were a couple of big exits on the opening day of the Cincinnati Open on Monday. Daria Kasatkina and Leylah Fernandez, seeded ninth and 13th respectively crashed out at the hands of Amanda Anisimova and Ekaterina Alexandrova in their respective round-of-64 clashes.

Anisimova toppled Kasatkina, 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 19 minutes. The American won 58% of her first-serve points to the latter’s 53%. Although Anisimova could only save two of the six break points she faced, she also converted six break points she had on Kasatkina’s serve.

For the match, Anisimova had almost seven times as many winners as Kasatkina – 33 to the paltry five the latter hit. This is the second tournament in a row that Kasatkina’s now lost in the first round. Last week, Bianca Andreescu defeated the 25-year-old in their first-round match in Toronto.

Meanwhile, Anisimova will play a fellow American, in either Sofia Kenin or Shelby Rogers. Both Kenin and Rogers received a main draw wildcard.

Cincinnati Open: Leylah Fernandez still seeking momentum

In her match against Fernandez, Alexandrova came through 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 19 minutes, as well.

Both players did well on second-serve return, with Alexandrova winning 75% of points on return and the Canadian winning 72%. However, Alexandrova also won 84% of her first-serve points to Fernandez’s 60% which went on to help her as the match progressed.

In terms of break point conversion, Alexandrova was able to save only one of the five break points she faced. In turn, she converted six of the eight break points that came her way on the 2021 US Open finalist’s serve.

In the round-of-32, Alexandrova could play former world no. 1 Naomi Osaka, or Shuai Zhang. Lastly, two-time Cincinnati Open winner, Victoria Azarenka reached the second round of the 2022 edition of the tournament. The former world no.

1 took down the ever-dangerous Kaia Kanepi, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in their clash. Azarenka needed two hours and 13 minutes to complete the win. For a place in the third round, the 33-year-old will play either Serena Williams or the 10th-seeded Briton, Emma Raducanu.

Ekaterina Alexandrova Victoria Azarenka Kaia Kanepi