World no. 78 Madison Brengle had a great day at the office in the first round in San Jose, beating Andrea Petkovic 6-0, 6-3 in 71 minutes in their opening clash since 2015. Landing 74% of the first serve in, Madison dropped nine points in her games, suffering one break and delivering six on the other side with a dominant performance on the return, stealing Andrea's serve three times in each set to march over the finish line and reach the second round.
Saisai Zheng took down Heather Watson 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 19 minutes, getting broken twice and erasing that deficit with a flawless performance on the return that brought her 13 opportunities and six breaks that carried her through.
In the first set, there were six breaks in nine games, four for the Chinese player who claimed the last three games to gather the momentum, storming over Watson in set number two for the best possible start. The 8th seed Danielle Collins ousted Shuai Zhang 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes, saving six out of eight break points and converting four to move over the top after a rock-solid performance in the final set when she lost just two points in four service games.
The 5th seed Donna Vekic battled past Misaki Doi 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 14 minutes. Back in Acapulco, Donna was the dominant figure against the Japanese but had to work much harder in this one, taking three points less than her opponents and overcoming all kind of obstacles in her games after serving at 46% and 12 double faults.
Doi grabbed six breaks and that wasn't enough in the end, playing against 19 break chances and giving serve away seven times to push Vekic through. Donna sealed the deal with breaks in games eight and ten in the decider, mighty relieved after crossing the finish line first and staying on the title course.
Victoria Azarenka needed an hour and 16 minutes to dismiss Harmony Tan 6-2, 6-4, suffering four breaks and overcoming that shortage after taking almost 60% of the return points, earning seven breaks (six straight) and ending the downfall in the very last moment in set number two to advance into the second round without having to play the decider.
In the battle of the veterans, Bethanie Mattek-Sands took down Venus Williams 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 in two hours and 21 minutes, rattling off six games in a row in the final set to leave Venus behind and score the first victory since Roland Garros 2018!