Tuesday was a solid day for the Americans in Monterrey, as both Christina McHale and qualifier Nicole Gibbs made the second round after straight sets wins. On the other side, 7th seed Danka Kovinic and 8th Timea Babos are leaving empty handed after quick first round matches, producing poor tennis.
Christina McHale needed only 56 minutes to dismiss home player with the wild card, Victoria Rodriguez. Thus, Christina has continued with very good form in the last 2 weeks, reaching semi-final in Acapulco few days ago.
After only few minutes it was clear that Rodriguez, 253th on the ranking list, is no match for the American, taking only 5 points in the first set! McHale broke her 3 times to take the set 6-0 by storm, in no time at all.
Second set was much more closer, Victoria even broke in game 5, but her advantage lasted only few minutes, as she was broken in the next game. This last part of the match was not very good, with 5 breaks of serve in the last 6 games, but American made 3 of them, to bring the set home, wining it 6-4.
Another American, Nicole Gibbs, qualified for her 3rd WTA event of the season, and just like in Shenzhen and Australia Open, she was successful in the first round. Nicole sent out 7th seed Danka Kovinic from Montenegro 7-5 6-2, after very solid performance.
Gibbs lost only 14 points on her serve, and only 9 after she got broken in very first service game, Kovinic was unable to reach deuce on return after that. Match started with back-to-back breaks, and players have settled in a nice rhythm in the next games, holding with no troubles.
Gibbs made decisive break in 11th game, at 15, to finish the set in dominant fashion, with love service game. Second set was more easier, Nicole won 50% of return points, to break her rival in 5th and 7th games, crossing the finish line soon after that.
Slovenian Polona Hercog has notched her second win of the season, beating 8th seed Timea Babos from Hungary 6-3 6-2. Polona played very well, holding her serve easily, as Babos managed to reach only 2 deuces on return, but no break points.
On the other hand, Slovenian has pushed her rival on return, creating 5 break chances, and taking 2 in each set for convincing victory. Qualifier Julia Glushko also reached second round following lopsided win over Alexandra Dulgheru, by 6-1 6-1.
Match lasted just 51 minutes and Julia claimed one of her easiest wins in career so far, taking enormous 72% of return points! Dulgheru held in the first game of the match but lost next 6 service games, unable to find her game with such a strong pressure on return from the Israeli.
Monica Puig, who lost in second round of Acapulco, will certainly wanted to go further in Monterrey, and she launched solid start, toppling Marcela Zacarias 6-2 7-5. Home player with a wild card, ranked 237th, showed fighting spirit in the close second set, but it wasn't enough to send the match into a decider.
Puig broke in second game, but surprisingly lost her serve too in the next game. Zacarias saved another two break points in game 4, leveling the score at 2-2, but that was all she could do in the first set, losing the next 4 games easily.
Puig struggled on her second serve in the second set, and she needed to save 9 break points. Marcela had her chances to prolong the match, but wasn't able to take them. Puig saved two break points in first game, and just like in the first set, the scoreboard reached 2-2.
Level of play dropped significantly after that, with 5 breaks of serve in the last 8 games. Monica broke for the second time in game 8, serving for the set in next, but couldn't hold her nerves as she got broken too. Zacarias was two points away from reaching second set tie break, but Puig stepped in and broke in that 12th game, barely escaping in two sets.
First round results : Christina McHale (USA) vs [WC]Victoria Rodriguez (MEX) 6-0 6-4
[Q]Nicole Gibbs (USA) vs Danka Kovinic (MNE) 7-5 6-2
Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) vs Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-2 4-6 6-1
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) vs [WC]Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-3 7-6(5)
[Q]Julia Glushko (ISR) vs Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 6-1 6-1
Monica Puig (PUR) vs [WC]Marcela Zacarias (MEX) 6-2 7-5
Polona Hercog (SLO) vs Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3 6-2 ALSO READ: TENNISWORLDUSA EXCLUSIVE - Jamie Murray: ´Three Grand Slam finals show my game´s progress and my maturity´