Boulter, Saville Among Day 1 Winners At San Diego Open

Daria Saville and Katie Boulter (photo: Lexie Wanninger)

SAN DIEGO, February 27, 2024 (by Richard Osborn)

Great Britain’s Katie Boulter and Australia’s Daria Saville scored opening-round wins on a rain-interrupted Day 1 at the 2024 Cymbiotika San Diego Open.Boulter notched her first win over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko in four career head-to-heads, prevailing, 6-3, 6-1, in one hour and 11 minutes.“I know how tough she can be to play against,” said Boulter, who collected her 10th victory over a Top-50 opponent. “I’ve never won against her before. I knew today was going to be an absolute battle. I just came out and tried to compete and do the best I could. I don’t think either of us played our best tennis, but sometimes it’s about finding a way, and I did that.”The 36th-ranked Tsurenko was indeed playing some of her best tennis earlier this month in Doha, where she stunned sixth-ranked Ons Jabeur in the second round. However, the 34-year-old was unable to take the court for her Round-of-16 matchup with Naomi Osaka due to a right elbow injury. On Monday, she would amass eight doubles faults, and win just four of 21 second-serve points.Saville continues to charge back toward the Top 100 after experiencing a series of injury setbacks. The 29-year-old upset 58th-rankied Lin Zhu for the second time in 2024, 6-3, 6-3. She also defeated the Chinese baseliner in January en route to the semifinals in Hobart.“I definitely had to run a lot today,” said Saville, who converted all four of her break-point opportunities against Zhu. “But that’s basically my game. I’m glad that I took opportunities when I could, took my own chances and made it happen.”It was the third win in as many days for Saville, who came through the qualifying rounds.“I always think that qualifiers are pretty dangerous,” she said. “I’ve had some of my best runs from playing qualifying.”German qualifier Jule Niemeier claimed a first-time meeting with Frenchwoman Varvara Gracheva on Court 2, winning, 6-3, 6-0, in just 54 minutes.China’s Xinyu Wang, 22, flashed her Top-50 form in a 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 dismissal of Denmark’s Clara Tauson.“Coming in, I was just trying to be really aggressive because I know if I let her hit away she’s going to take control,” said Wang, who overcame seven double faults in the one-hour, 37-minute contest. “The second set, I think she kind of got used to the rhythm, so it was a little bit difficult for me, but I’m happy I kept fighting to the end.”Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, will make her tournament debut on Tuesday night (7 p.m. PST) in Barnes Stadium when she faces Anna Blinkova, while reigning US Open girls’ singles champion Katherine Hui, a wildcard entrant from San Diego, faces 2022 San Diego Open runner-up Donna Vekic of Croatia (not before 4:30 p.m. PST).

San Diego Open – Barnes Tennis Center$ 922,573February 26-3 2024Results – Monday, Feb 26R16 – K. Day (USA) / C. Liu (USA) d. D. Papamichail (GRE) / V. Strakhova (UKR) 76(2) 67(2) 10-7R16 – [4] H. Chan (TPE) / G. Olmos (MEX) d. A. Blinkova / D. Saville (AUS) 67(2) 64 10-5R32 – [Q] J. Niemeier (GER) d. V. Gracheva (FRA) 63 60R32 – X. Wang (CHN) d. C. Tauson (DEN) 62 26 61R32 – [6] M. Kostyuk (UKR) d. [Q] A. Li (USA) 64 46 62R32 – [Q] D. Saville (AUS) d. L. Zhu (CHN) 63 63R32 – [Q] M. Stakusic (CAN) d. [Q] M. Melnikova 64 57 61R32 – K. Boulter (GBR) d. L. Tsurenko (UKR) 63 61Schedule – Tuesday, Feb 27BARNES STADIUM starts at 01:00 PMC. Dolehide (USA) vs [5] D. Yastremska (UKR)[8] L. Fernandez (CAN) vs T. Maria (GER)NB 4:30 PM [7] D. Vekic (CRO) vs [WC] K. Hui (USA)NB 7:00 PM [WC] C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs A. BlinkovaCOURT 2 starts at 12:00 PM[1] D. Krawczyk (USA) / J. Pegula (USA) vs S. Aoyama (JPN) / F. Wu (TPE)NB 1:30 PM [Q] M. Hontama (JPN) vs K. Siniakova (CZE)[WC] T. Preston (AUS) vs M. Frech (POL)X. Wang (CHN) / Y. Xu (CHN) vs E. Hozumi (JPN) / M. Ninomiya (JPN)U. Eikeri (NOR) / H. Guo (CHN) vs [WC] E. Deming (USA) / A. Li (USA)