Samsonova denies the upset of a year
The match against Liudmila Samsonova and Lena Papadakis was definitely a highlight of first round in Libema Open. The German has advanced into main draw of the tournament being played in s'Hertogenbosch after prevailing in qualies. Samsonova was a banker pre-match favorite rated with an odd 1.04. It can't be surprising, considering the huge gap between both players in the rankings. Samsonova is the world's number 15 right now, while Papadakis is ranked 348th in the WTA list. This difference was not clearly seen on the court though. Samsonova was playing erratically from the start, but managed to win the first set 7-5 despite being a break down after the start. The German did not discouraged herself and won the breakless second set after tiebreak.
Papadakis has stayed in front a chance of making one of the biggest upsets of the season in WTA, as she got a break in 8th game of decisive set and had a chance to serve for the win. It has not happened, as Papadakis has lost her service game to love while being 5-3 up, and Samsonova denied a huge upset at this time. The tournament's top seed forced a tiebreak and took the win over much lower ranked opponent after 3:43 (!) hours of play. It was just 8 minutes shorter battle than the longest match of the year so far, played between Beatriz Haddad Maia and Sara Sorribes Tormo in the 4th round of Roland Garros. It's really impressive fact, especially considering how much faster and more dynamic is a play on the grass surface.
Comfortable opening for the seeds
Veronika Kudermetova has moved into second round after the match against Alison Riske Amritraj. The top seed was leading 6-3 3-0, when the American has called the medical time-out and withdrew from the match. It's the 9th lose in a row for Riske Amritraj, who has performed well last year during the grass season. The current world's number 135 can fall down in the ranking after losing the points for the last year's run into final of WTA 250 tournament in Nottingham. Carol Zhao is the next opponent for Kudermetova. The Canadian has advanced into main draw from qualies and eliminated Ysaline Bonaventure in first round, winning 7-6(3) 7-6(4).
7 out of 8 seeds came through the second round. Elise Mertens is the only one who did not just manage to win her match, but has also not appear on the court due to a late withdrawal caused by an injury. All the seeds apart from Samsonova advanced with relatively easy straight sets wins.
Naef wins over Williams
The comeback of Venus Williams was a highlight news ahead of the start of Libema Open. The 42 years-old American got awarded with a wild card into main draw in s'Hertogenbosch to get a chance on grass after 5 months break cause by the injury issues. Williams has played against another WC receiver, the world's number 202 Celine Naef from Switzerland. Williams has started the match really well, as she won the opening set 6-3 and moved up into 4-2 lead in second set, being on a straight road to score a comeback win. The Swiss has fought back from this and recovered to take second set in tiebreak. Naef has dominated her legendary opponent in decisive set and moved to next round with a win 3-6 7-6(3) 6-2.