Collins Doubles Up In San Diego Open First Round

Danielle Collins (photo: Lexie Wanninger)

SAN DIEGO, September 13, 2023 (by Richard Osborn)

It was a busy day for Danielle Collins at the Cymbiotika San Diego Open.The 29-year-old American opened the action in singles on the Barnes Stadium court, defeating qualifier Louisa Chirico, 7-5, 6-0. Collins would later join Rancho Santa Fe’s Coco Vandeweghe for a 6-3, 4-6, 10-3 defeat of Marta Kostyuk and Alycia Parks in doubles.

“The last couple of days, I hadn’t gotten a lot of court time. I got sick after the US Open. There was a bad bug going around,” said the 43rd-ranked Collins after her dismissal of fellow American Chirico. “I kind of needed to be out here a little longer, so I was happy we were playing some long points, and had some long games. I was just trying to find my rhythm.”She found that rhythm against Chirico. Knotted at 5-all in the tight opening set, Collins, a finalist at the Australian Open last year, would reel off eight unanswered games to seal the one hour, 10-minute match and advance to the second round.Like Collins, Kostyuk was pulling double duty on Tuesday. The world No. 29 defeated Poland’s Magda Linette on the singles court, 6-2, 7-6(5).On the heels of a disappointing first-round exit in Flushing Meadows, where she raised the US Open trophy in 2017, Sloane Stephens came out firing against Belgian Elise Mertens, winning, 6-1, 6-3.“She’s obviously a great player, but I’m playing here in San Diego, in Southern California, with all my friends and family. It’s not very hard to get pumped up to come out and play,” said Stephens, who earned a second-round matchup with second seed Caroline Garcia of France. “I’m just really pleased to be playing some good tennis and to come out with a win.”   Sofia Kenin continues to claw her way back up the rankings after reaching a career-high No. 4 in 2020, the year she captured her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Now ranked No. 93, she upended sixth seed Veronika Kudermetova, 6-4, 6-4.Kenin, one of eight Americans in the main draw, had ample reason to bring her best game. In addition to the rankings incentive, Hall of Famer and 11-time Grand Slam major singles titlist Rod Laver was seated courtside.“On the changeover, I heard he was here. I was like, ‘Okay, try to do well for him,’” said Kenin. “I had to fight. Of course, she was going to pick up here game, and I kind of let down a little bit and made some unforced errors, but I was luckily able to pick it up and close it out.”Fresh off a career-best quarterfinal appearance at the US Open, Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko outlasted eighth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in a topsy-turvy, two-hour, 46-minute battle, 7-6(3), 6-7(6), 7-5.

Cymbiotika San Diego Open – Barnes Tennis Center$ 780,637September 11-16 2023Results – Tuesday, Sep 12R16 – E. Alexandrova / A. Sasnovich d. C. Dolehide (USA) / C. Liu (USA) 76(6) 64R16 – M. Kato (JPN) / A. Sutjiadi (INA) d. [3] H. Chan (TPE) / G. Olmos (MEX) 46 63 10-2R16 – [WC] D. Collins (USA) / C. Vandeweghe (USA) d. M. Kostyuk (UKR) / A. Parks (USA) 63 46 10-3R16 – [2] S. Aoyama (JPN) / Z. Yang (CHN) d. A. Guarachi (CHI) / M. Niculescu (ROU) 61 75R32 – [WC] S. Kenin (USA) d. [6] V. Kudermetova 64 64R32 – [7] B. Haddad Maia (BRA) d. [WC] L. Fernandez (CAN) 63 57 62R32 – M. Kostyuk (UKR) d. M. Linette (POL) 62 76(5)R32 – J. Ostapenko (LAT) d. [8] E. Alexandrova 76(3) 67(6) 75R32 – D. Collins (USA) d. [Q] L. Chirico (USA) 75 60R32 – S. Stephens (USA) d. E. Mertens (BEL) 61 63