Korea Open: Jessica Pegula enters R16; Dayeon Back scripts notable upset!

Sofia Kenin was also among those who exited the WTA 250 in the round-of-32

by Abbey Johnson
Korea Open: Jessica Pegula enters R16; Dayeon Back scripts notable upset!
© Emmanuel Wong/ Getty Images

Top seed Jessica Pegula took her place in the second round of the Korea Open on Tuesday. The American claimed a straight-sets, 6-2, 6-4 win over Viktoria Hruncakova. Pegula needed just 69 minutes to put herself through. Both players put around 50% of their first serves in – Pegula with 24 and Hruncakova with 22.

However, of the 24 first-serve points played, Pegula won 21 while her opponent managed to win only 14. Pegula also won 15 of the 28 points played on her second serve and 18 of 28 points on return on her opponent’s second serve.

Pegula faced a break point across each set and on each occasion, failed to save it. But she did well to convert five of eight break points she generated on the Slovakian’s serve. Next up for Pegula will be a derby against compatriot, Ashlyn Krueger.

Krueger got through against Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska by the same score-line as next-round rival but in an hour and 23 minutes.

Korea Open: Americans stutter; home favourites pick up pace

Fourth seed Marie Bouzkova also got through an American opponent in their first-round clash.

The Czech took two hours and five minutes to beat Kayla Day, 6-4, 6-4. Apart from Day, one other American player crashed out in her first-round match. Kimberly Birrell pocketed a 6-4, 6-4 win over qualifier Sachia Vickery, after 92 minutes.

Birrell will take on local hope Dayeon Back in the second round. Aged 21 and ranked 569th in the world, Back posted a huge upset over second seed and the world no. 13, Jelena Ostapenko in two hours and 13 minutes. The 26-year-old Ostapenko won the first set but couldn’t exert the same control as she’d done in the first set for the rest of the match, which gave Back a chance to close it out after winning the latter two sets, 6-1, 7-6(4).

Back received a wildcard to play in the main draw here. She’s the Korean no. 5. Lastly, Back’s fellow countrywoman and the Korean no. 1, Su-Jeong Jang came up with an upset of her own at the Korea Open. Jang beat fifth-seeded Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-4 in just 91 minutes.

Other Results© Abbey Johnson

Korea Open Jessica Pegula Sofia Kenin