WTA Toronto: Kasatkina sends Kerber packing. Kuznetsova and Ostapenko win

Tennis - Julia Goerges and Francesca Di Lorenzo are also through to the second round

by Jovica Ilic
WTA Toronto: Kasatkina sends Kerber packing. Kuznetsova and Ostapenko win

Former world no. 9 Julia Goerges had to work hard in the first round in Toronto, toppling a qualifier Polona Hercog 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 in two hours and nine minutes, controlling the pace in the closing stages of the decider to cross the finish line first.

Goerges beat the Slovenian for the sixth time in eight matches, saving five out of six break points and stealing Polona's serve twice to emerge at the top. The German lost just four points on serve in the first set, breaking Hercog at love in game six for a 6-3 and hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter.

Polona saved three break points in the third game of the second set and that gave her the momentum, stealing Goerges' serve twice for a 6-1 and staying neck and neck in the decider as well, especially after saving two match points at 4-5.

Nonetheless, Julia claimed the tie break 7-5 to find herself in the second round after a great battle. A former Ohio State University star Francesca Di Lorenzo qualified for the main draw and defeated Petra Martic 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 32 minutes for one of the most significant wins in a career.

The American faced only two break points and had the advantage in the closing stages of both sets to forge the triumph in straight sets and march into the second round. Jelena Ostapenko needed 72 minutes to halt Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-3, serving at only 48% but keeping everything under control in her games to mount the pressure on the other side of the net.

Garcia never found the rhythm, dropping half of the points behind the initial shot and suffering five breaks from 11 opportunities given to the Latvian. Jelena grabbed four straight breaks in the first set for a 6-3 and took five of the last six games in set number two to sail towards the finish line and earn a much-needing triumph following a mediocre start of the year.

Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated the young Chinese Xiyu Wang 6-2, 6-4 in 69 minutes, losing only 11 points in nine service games to keep all the pressure on the other side of the net. Wang gave her best although it wasn't enough for a more favorable result, getting broken three times to push the Russian through.

Kuznetsova raced into a 4-0 advantage in the opening set and we saw closer battle in the second where Wang stayed on the level terms with a former world no. 2 until 4-4, with Svetlana taking 12 of the last 16 points to book the spot in the second round.

The struggling Russian Daria Kasatkina has barely won a match this year, not finding the desired form and getting ready for another early exit in Toronto after losing the opening set against the 12th seed Angelique Kerber 6-0!

Out of sudden, Kasatkina showed her skills, taking the next two sets for a 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory that means a lot to her after all kind of problems earlier in 2019. Thanks to that opening set, they both won 84 points but it was Daria who had the advantage in sets two and three, taking the last three games of the second set and staying in touch in the decider that witnessed four breaks in the first six games to keep them locked up at 3-3.

Serving to stay in the match, Kerber lost serve at 4-5 to propel the young rival into the second round and notch another early exit after a poor Wimbledon run despite being the defending champion at the All England Club.

Julia Goerges Francesca Di Lorenzo