It was only a year ago that Dayana Yastremska was ranked outside the Top 100 and had won only a handful of matches on tour.
But today, she continued to show why she is a rising star on the WTA tour. In her Rogers Cup presented by National Bank main draw debut, Yastremska took down World No. 14 Johanna Konta in a 6-3, 6-2 stunner. It marks the fourth time in the Ukrainian’s career that she’s defeated a player ranked inside the Top 20.
Early in the first set, it appeared as if it might not happen. Konta went up an early break when the World No. 33 sent a forehand long. But in the very next game, after the 28 year old from Eastbourne saved four break points, Yastremska finally converted on her fifth opportunity to level the set. She would later score another break to jump in front 5-3 when Konta committed another unforced error. From there, Yastremska would easily hold serve to win the set.
In the second set, it was more of the same from the Ukrainian. She scored a couple of breaks to jump in front 5-2. Konta did all she could to prolong the match. She saved four match points and had two chances to break Yastremska, but she just couldn’t convert one. On her fifth match point, the 19 year old managed to close it out.
It is the first time in her career that Yastremska has defeated Konta. The two have only met once previously, with Konta winning on the grass courts of Eastbourne 6-2, 6-4 in June. The Ukrainian teen has had a breakthrough run over these last 12 months. She has won three WTA titles (Hong Kong, Hua Hin and Strasbourg) during that stretch and is in contention for one of the seeds later this month at the US Open.
Fernandez falls, former champions soar in opening session
It was a tough debut for the reigning Junior French Open champion. Leylah Annie Fernandez lost 6-0, 6-1 in her Rogers Cup main draw debut to another debutante, Marie Bouzkova. The young Canadian was one of six teenagers, along with Yastremska, who were in the main draw.
Fernandez struggled throughout the match – committing 20 unforced errors. Despite the loss, there are plenty of positives for her to draw on from this summer. Over the last month, the 16 year old from Laval earned her first ITF title in Gatineau and was a runner-up at the Granby Challenger.
Elsewhere on the grounds, the 2015 Rogers Cup champion Belinda Bencic got off to a flying start. The No. 11 seed downed teenage qualifier Anastasia Potapova 6-2, 6-1. The 22 year old from Switzerland never faced a break point and raced through the second set – winning 16 of the first 19 points. She’ll look to extend her win streak in Canada to eight in the second round.
Another former winner in Canada, Caroline Wozniacki was victorious in her first match in Toronto. The No. 15 seed won comfortably in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 against Yulia Putintseva. Wozniacki won 10 of the last 12 games to close out the match. The 2010 Rogers Cup title holder is one of 12 Grand Slam champions in the field this week.
Meanwhile, in doubles, World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and playing partner Victoria Azarenka won their opening-round match against Storm Sanders and Monique Adamczak 6-1, 6-2 in 47 minutes.