Chris Everts Keys v No. 1 Seed Petrova at Blistery WTA Ponte Vedra Beach


Posted on April 7, 2009

North Florida temperatures are a roll of the dice in April, ranging anywhere from the 80s to the 30s. The dice rolled snake eyes on Tuesday for WTA Tour players at The MPS Group Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., who had to deal with winds gusting 50 m.p.h., and 60s mid-day temperatures plunging into the 30s for the night session.

The weather wasn't too off-putting for cold-climate Canadian No. 5 seed Aleksandra Wozniak, who brushed past American Jill Craybas 6-4, 6-4, or top-seeded Nadia Petrova, used to the Russian winters, who defeated Belarus' Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-4.

Petrova will next face 14-year-old sensation Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla., who in her first round upset Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva 7-5, 6-4 in her WTA Tour-level debut.

Keys trains at the Evert Academy, where namesake Chris Evert periodically checks in with her star pupil.

"What I do is I come in and play points with her because that's how I see where her improvement is," Chris Evert told Play Tennis Florida magazine last year. "I think you have to look at the whole thing: the technique, the balance, the power, and the other thing you have to look at is the results. I don't think we have any problem with the results," says Evert, laughing. "She got to firmly establish herself as the No. 1 player in the world in the 12-and-unders."

Keys is being accompanied at the Ponte Vedra Beach event by her coach John Evert, brother of Chris and director of the Evert Academy in Boca Raton.

Petrova and Keys will face off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Other winners Tuesday were Russian Elena Vesnina upsetting No. 6 Shuai Peng; wildcard Daniela Hantuchova outlasting Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 in the third; Tamira Paszek topping Melinda Czink in three; qualifier Anastasia Rodionova over Galina Voskoboeva; and Sabine Lisicki licking qualifier Mariya Koryttseva.

"I don't remember the last time the wind was this bad," Hantuchova said. "Probably this is one of the worst. Like this, when it keeps swirling, it was not possible to serve. I was just serving second serves all match."

No. 8-seeded American Bethanie Mattek-Sands drew a tough assignment in the first round, No. 13-ranked Marion Bartoli, who was unseeded after navigating the qualifying event to gain the main draw.

In the cool blustery weather, Mattek's renowned fashion sense was limited to black leggings and a long-sleeve black shirt under a black vest. Bartoli, in contrast, appeared to be wearing a white tennis dress over a snowmobile suit. The Frenchwoman jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but the American fought back before dropping serve to lose the first set 7-5.

Bartoli glanced nervously at her father/coach in the stands of the outer Court 2 virtually after every point lost, then requested an on-court coaching visit early in the second set.

Mattek-Sands came back from a break in the second, pulling out the match 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3.

No. 2-seeded Caroline Wozniacki outlasted Aussie Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1, and Virginie Razzano defeated Akgul Amanmuradova 6-2, 6-4.

No. 4-seeded Patty Schnyder put in a lackluster performance in the gusty winds, losing 6-2, 6-0 to American lucky loser Varvara Lepchenko.

Schnyder has competed at Ponte Vedra Beach/Amelia Island 13 times and has never surpassed the quarterfinals.

Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Andy Murray10 Angelique Kerber
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