CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The expressions just kept changing on the face of Shelby Rogers as the American tried to figure out the winning moves against Veronica Cepede Royg at the Volvo Car Open.
Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth for close to three hours until Rogers prevailed 6-7 (1), 6-3, 7-6 (6) over the Paraguayan on Tuesday in front of a hometown crowd. The match carried over from Monday after rain halted play with Rogers trailing.
"Yeah, it was definitely a lot of momentum changes in the match," Rogers said. It's always nice to get that first win on clay, and especially here, you know, in front of that crowd. They were absolutely amazing. That kind of helped me through it."
Rogers was up two sets and two breaks in the third set and twice failed to serve out the match in windy conditions.
"I was thinking that I needed to change what I was doing, because, you know, she raised her level unbelievably," said Rogers, who first learned to hit a tennis ball on clay.
"She didn't miss a ball in the third set. (It) just came down to that one, like, awkward shot I hit into the wind and was able to get the pass down the line."
In other first-round matches on the green clay at Daniel Island: 11th-seeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni outlasted Aleksandra Krunuc 6-1, 4-6, 6-3; Maria Sakkari of Greece defeated American Lauren Davis 7-5, 6-4; Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania defeated Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey 6-0, 6-0; Italy's Sara Errani defeated Grace Min of the U.S. 6-1, 6-1 and Fanny Stollar of Hungary beat Asia Muhammad of the U.S. 6-3, 7-5.
Also: Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Sofia Kenin 6-4, 6-4 in a match between Americans; Shuai Zhang of China defeated Misaki Doi of Japan 6-2, 6-1; Mona Barthel of Germany defeated American Jennifer Brady 7-5, 6-4; Russian-born Anastasia Rodionova of Australia defeated China's Ying-Ying Duan 7-6 (3), 6-1; Magda Linette of Poland defeated Yulia Putintseva of Russia 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
And Daria Kasatkina of Russia defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-1, 6-2 and Kristina Kucova of Slovakia defeated Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (2).
In doubles competition: Rodionova and Darija Jurak of Croatia defeated Taylor Townsend and Muhammad 6-4, 6-2; and Brady and Alison Riske defeated Davis and Rogers 6-2, 7-6 (2).