Who would have thought that Carla Suarez-Navarro decided to become a pro to her passion of tennis some 18 years ago? In that time she's acquired two singles and 3 doubles titles and has enjoyed her highest career ranking of no.
6. But the years, some injuries and slow winning times has influenced Suarez-Navarro to currently be ranked at no. 27. This 2018 season her deepest play at any tournament was in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Madrid without seeing any semifinal rounds or a title...as yeat.
But the tour is in its last quarter, now at the hard court season has begun and Suarez-Navarro has punctuated it in Montreal with a first round win of 7-6, 6-2 over the young Japanese Naomi Osaka. The Spaniard had ran off to a lead of 5-2 in the first set with the surprise of many Osaka fans who were used to seeing the reversed scoring.
she had also a flip-flop result of events and something dawned in her head as she out played and tied the games at 5-all. But Suarez-Navarro was the more drifen and she wasn't about to let a young rising star create havoc on her game in the first round of this Canadian tournament.
The Spaniard sliced and chipped and just hit out opening up the court to somehow spoof the young Japanese. It worked well and before long the tiebreak was present. Osaka at time, showed stroking of the victorious young woman she demonstrated in previous tournaments where she picked up a title at the BNP Indian Wells against Daria Kasatkina.
But it wasn't often enough that she dictated shots and fell 2-7 points for her opponent Sanchez-Navarro to land the first set at 7-6. The second set proved to be the deciding one for both the Spaniard and the Japanese; through consistency Suarez-Navarro took charge and allowed Osaka only two games in the set.
The Spaniard felt and played with true confidence and it showed in her shot making and strategies to takethe upper hand and win the second set 6-2. Osaka wasn't playing with the same vigor as her last victory match back at Roland Garros over Zarina Diyas or winning the Indian Wells title over Daria Kasatkina.
"I feel old...I feel like I've been on tour forever...I feel like I know a lot of stuff..." Osaka expressed her views on being a professional tennis player. But Carla Suarez-Navarro knows how her year has been and is satisfied that she's gotten through to the first round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
The Spaniard's second round was with the Ukraine Lesia Tsurenko. Rallies were swift and consistent but Suarez-Navarro dictated play, moving her opponent around to find the open court and put the shot away. The end of every game, the Spaniard won most points and the first set was on her racket at 6-4.
The second set was much of the same aggressive play but unfortunately as Tsurenko had leveled the set to 2-all she had a medical timeout, a recurring left thigh injury. After a few rallies in the second set, the Ukrainian couldn't continue and the set and match was turned over to the Spaniard.
Carla Suarez-Navarro has great confidence now and approaching round three she'll play opposite Sloane Stephens, not such an easy push over. But if the Spaniard's consistency and focus holds out, she may come out a three round winner at Montreal.