Former champions Serena Williams and Johanna Konta will meet in a tasty first rounder at the new San Jose event. Serena beat Konta in their only meeting in the 2017 Australian Open quarterfinals.
Konta won the title in 2016 while Serena took the crown in 2011, 2012 and 2014. She’s won her last 13 matches at the event which just moved from Stanford to its new home a half hour away in San Jose.
In matches Monday, former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka toughed out Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-7(7), 7-5.
“It’s a really challenging time for me and my game right now,” Azarenka said. “You can see with my game, there’s a lot of ups and downs. The important thing is that I’m here, I’m fighting hard, and I try to do my best. That’s all I can ask of myself, but it’s not easy. Everyone expects to have results right away – I do too! – but I need to be patient, and keep working hard.”
Azarenka tossed in 12 double faults and 50 unforced errors, and she held match points in the second set breaker. Next will be Garbine Muguruza.
“She’s a great player, she’s improved a lot in the last few years, winning two Grand Slams,” Azarenka said. “She sometimes can play unbelievable and sometimes really not. I remember our match in Miami, and it was really high quality tennis, it was a tough battle – we’ll see what happens.”
In Washington today, recent Grand Slam champions Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki are featured.
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