Eugenie Bouchard and Monica Puig swept aside their opponents and quickly advanced to the second round at ASB Classics. Olympic champion Puig easily defeated American wildcard Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes, while the Canadian beat 6-3 6-3 Madison Brengle.
The world number 350 Mattek-Sands, who's coming back after the traumatic knee injury suffered at 2017 Wimbledon, was no match for the Puerto Rican. Puig will face Su-Wei Hsieh or Polona Hercog in the second round. In what was expected to be a mismatch, Mattek-Sands recovered from an early break down in the opening set, but Puig broke again to go up 4-3, cruised from there to take the first set 6-3, and dominated the proceedings in the second set.
The American, WTAtennis.com reported, planned to visit Stewart Island for a fishing trip and to take a clinic at Waihopai Tennis Club in Ivercargill, the most southerly tennis club in the world. “Bethanie will be the very first international tennis player to head to Stewart Island, which is fantastic for New Zealand and Stewart Island locals.
Her husband Justin is really keen on the outdoors as well so it’s great that they get to go on this adventure together!” tournament director Karl Budge said. Bouchard broke seven times and looked in very good shape against American Madison Brengle, best known for taking down Serena Williams in Auckland in 2017.
The matchup between the world number 87 and 88 looked radically different than the rankings would suggest from the opening stages. Bouchard led 3-0 early, and Brengle could just muster a break back but she offered little resistance while the Canadian cruised towards the first set.
Brengle had a few moments in the second, but Bouchard used her superior serve to dictate the points and powerful groundstrokes to outmuscle her throughout the match. In the second round,she'll take on the winner of the clash between Alison van Uytvanck and qualifier Bibiane Schoofs.
2017 champion Lauren Davis also advanced to the second round as she defeated Spain's Lara Arruabarrena 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 22 minutes. The American wildcard will play the winner of the glamour clash between Victoria Azarenka and Venus Williams.
WTA Auckland - First round
M.Puig (PRI) b. [WC]B. Mattek-Sands B (USA) 63 62
E. Bouchard (CAN) b. M.Brengle (USA) 63 63
[WC]L.Davis (USA) b. L.Arruabarrena (ESP) 62 62
S.Sorribes Tormo (ESP) b. S.Voegele (SUI) 75 63
V.Kuzmova (SVK) b. T.Zidansek (SLO) 62 76(3)