Venus Wins, Karatantcheva Works on ‘Ass Kicking’ at WTA Rogers Cup Montreal
by Jeremy Davis | August 7th, 2018, 8:38 am

Rain ruled the opening day of the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Monday, but not before three seeds moved into the second round.
Seeds were 3-0 on the opening day as No. 9 Karolina Pliskova topped Katerina Siniakova in an all-Czech match-up 6-4, 6-4, No. 10 Julia Goerges had to come back from a set down to defeat Hungary’s Timea Babos 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4, and No. 13 Venus Williams began her quest for a first Rogers Cup title with a 7-6, 6-1 win over fellow American and qualifier Caroline Dolehide.

The sweltering and humid conditions saw a linesperson taken off the court due to heat illness in the second set.

“I think she had a really great second serve,” said the 38-year-old Venus on her countrywoman Dolehide. “I think I got a better feel for it in the second set. In the first set, I was still figuring it out. I hadn’t really seen her play. I think maybe she had more of an advantage because she’s probably seen me play more than I’ve played her. It was pretty close in the first set.”

Qualifier Lucie Safarova led the unseeded charge Monday as the former world No. 5 upset Aussie Daria Gavrilova 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Other unseeded winners were Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova setting up a meeting with No. 6 Caroline Garcia, Estonian Anett Kontaveit lining up No. 8 Petra Kvitova, Latvian Anastasija Sevastova advancing to face No. 7 Garbine Muguruza, and the Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko advancing to meet the winner of No. 16 Naomi Osaka and qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro.

In a match suspended due to rain, unseeded former No. 1 Maria Sharapova leads qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva, who in 2005 as a teen said of Sharapova “I can kick her ass” after getting stood up by the Russian for a practice match, 4-1 in the first set.

Karatantcheva said of herself in 2005 as a 15 year old at the time: “I want to be myself. I want to be independent, I just want to do everything. I think I’m old enough for everything. I’m never wrong, I’m always right. Whatever I say, that’s it, point, no more.”

That year the 15-year-old Bulgarian beat Venus Williams at the French Open, but ended up ‘doing everything,’ in the new few years — piercing her tongue, getting an abortion, and receiving a two-year ban from the tour for taking anabolic steroids. Now the 28-year-old No. 228-ranked Bulgarian is in her first WTA draw since 2017.

“That’s a bit depressing, having in mind that I’ve been through so much,” she said of her 29th birthday in three days’ time. “I’m ranked around No. 225; that’s not the dream ranking for my age, but I keep reading all these mature books, self-help guides. They say that 29 is the best age for an athlete, so I’m still waiting for that energy to come through and my mojo to come back. I’m settled, though. I’m married and family life treats me good. Tennis is a game and it’s good that a lot of players realize that it’s not so live or die. Take it for the best it is, and if it doesn’t, life keeps moving.”

Matches to look for on Tuesday in Montreal include the Sharapova vs. Karatantcheva conclusion, (11) Jelena Ostapenko vs. Johanna Konta, (14) Elise Mertens vs. (WC) Genie Bouchard, (WC) Victoria Azarenka vs. Kristina Mladenovic, and (16) Naomi Osaka vs. (Q) Carla Suarez Navarro.

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2 Comments for Venus Wins, Karatantcheva Works on ‘Ass Kicking’ at WTA Rogers Cup Montreal

Humble Rafa Says:

It takes a small man to bring up a quote from 2005. Everyone makes stupid statements at 15 including small men.

Life is about getting up on your feet when you fall and one can say that she is doing a fine job. Given her age, she may never dominate the WTA but her life experiences will help her.

Margot Says:

I agree HR and I don’t like the tone of this article. What’s all this tittle tattle to do with tennis, anyway?

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