Tuesday action in Credit One Charleston Open contained the completion of first round matches and two matches with the appearance of top seeds, which started second round, where just 32 out of 56 players continue to complete after two days of tournament.
The play on centre court in Charleston was started by the match of Paula Badosa and Mayar Sherif. The tournament's 12th seed earned a routine win against the Egyptian, winning 6-3 6-1. The Spaniard was very clinical during her first clay match of the season, despite facing some resistance from the lower ranked opponent. The opening set was level on serve after 7 games, but Badosa gained the decisive break in following game and won the whole set 6-3. The former world's number two won all the service games of her opponent in second set, not allowing the match to become any close in that phase. Despit that, Sherif was able to produce a decent amount of 11 breakpoints in general. Only two of those were converted though, while Badosa produced 13 breakpoints and converted 6 of them. The Spaniard sets up the interesting 2nd round match-up with Leylah Fernandez.
The most interesting match of the day was played in the afternoon - it was the all-American clash between Shelby Rogers and Danielle Collins. Rogers, born in South Carolina, is always the crowd's favorite here in Charleston and it was no different during her match against the tournament's 13th seed. Collins was a slight pre-match favorite with an odd 1.72 despite losing the previous match between both players in second round of last year's Roland Garros.
It was sure that the match will be a tight battle and all the fans watching this clash on the main stadium could be not disappointed. The first set started with a series of very confident service holds from both players. Collins was the first one to gain a break and moved into 4-2 lead. The current world's number 40 was playing consistent from the start, which was not the rule in her previous appearances in 2023 season, which is quite a disappointment for the player from Florida. The first slump of Collins appeared in 7th game, as Rogers managed to break back. The home favorite was very close to confirm the momentum switach, being 0-40 up on her rival's serve in 9th game, but Collins found her game back and performed the hold which was crucial for the fates of opening set. Both players approached the tiebreak, where Collins was a dominant force and clinched first set.
Collins could capitalize on it, as she was looking confident when moving into second set. She was close to gain a break advantage while being a set up, but did not convert her breakpoint chance, created in 3rd game. Rogers defended with finding a free corner after outside serve and managed to win the game on deuces. It was the momentum switch, as Collins slumped in another game, losing the serve to love. She was able to break back in 7th game and the set approached into decisive moments. Rogers played really well under pressure, using the weak moment of Collins in 10th game, converting the breakpoint which was a setpoint at the set time. Rogers has caught the wind in her sails. Collins could not find the rythm after start of decisive set, while the 30 years-old American was playing flawlessly, moving into 3-0 up with a break advantage. Collins was trying to fight back but did not prevail in the crucial 5th game. Rogers could not find her first serve for a while, allowing Collins to produce 5 breakpoints. It could bring back her opponent to be level on serve, but Collins did not use any of those chances. Rogers found three great serves at the end of the game and held the game, which closed the hopes of Collins to come back into match. She lost her following game almost without a fight and Rogers served out the victory with a score 6-7(2) 6-4 6-1. The victory of Shelby Rogers was very appreciated by the home crowd, who can keep fingers crossed for their favorite in 2nd round match against Caty Mcnally.
The evening session was the start of second round matches with two of the top seeds who received byes in opening round came to action. Victoria Azarenka seeded with 6th was the favorite of the Grand Slam champions clash against Sloane Stephens. The American struggles this season, as she won just 4 out 11 matches in 2023 so far. Despite that, she turned out to be better in the opening set, winning it 6-3 after quite shaky performance from both players, as this set brought 5 breaks in general. Azarenka regrouped well in second set, starting from the early break. Stephens was able to break back in 5th game, but the Belarusian regained her advantage one game later and clinched the set, forcing a decider. Third set was all level until the score 2-2, but Azarenka dominated the following 4 games, crossing the finish line with a score 3-6 6-3 6-2.
Ons Jabeur came to Charleston with a hopes of earning the result, which will be close to her last year's final appearance. The Tunisian was able to pull out of middle east swing in February due to the back injury issues, and admitted that she is still not 100% fit after her comeback to play in Sunshine Double. The first clay match of the season for the world's number 5 was succesful though, as she routined Lesia Tsurenko 6-3 6-3. Jabeur started really well from a 5-0 lead and secured the first set despite allowing the Ukrainian to make up one break from the gap. Second set started from three consecutive breaks on both sides with Jabeur moving into the lead. The last year's Charleston finalist secured two breakpoints in 4th game and was untouchable till the end of the match since then.
Wednesday will be an exciting day to follow, as 13 singles matches including the appearance of all the top seeds will emerge the top 16 of the tournament.