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."