Robson battles through, Klein v Evans in Vancouver

By Glenys Furness

  • Robson secures first round qualifying win
  • Battle of the Brits in Vancouver
  • Klein and Evans have a ding dong battle

New Haven – Conneticut, Odlum Brown Van Open – Vancouver

Laura Robson battles through to continue her comeback with a first round qualifying  win in Conneticut Open, whilst Brydan Klein and Dan Evans went head to head in Vancouver for a semi-final place.

Robson had received a wild card into the qualifying rounds at the Conneticut Open in New Haven. The 21 year old, who has been out of competition due to wrist surgery, started her comeback earlier in the year.

With her official ranking having slipped due to the 18 months she had been out of the game, Robson relies on her Protected Ranking at major tournaments, and wildcards for other events that are above her entry level.

The Brit had drawn another wildcard in the first round of qualifying, American Alexa Graham. Robson got off to the best start breaking serve early and went 2-0 up, however, the American was not going to go quietly and broke straight back to level up. Robson was spurred on by this and again broke to go 4-2 up, this was enough to seal the set and the Brit took it 6-3.

In the second set the Brit level appeared to drop as Graham took advantage of the break points obtained, as Robson struggled to hold serve.  The American was soon level after taking the set 6-2, it was going the distance and Robson would have to dig deep.

In the final set the Brit served more double faults than the American, but Robson won more points on first serve and more break points, which is what ultimately made the difference. The Brit came away with the win in the final set 6-3. Good to see her back on tour, the more matches played the more her game will return.

At the Odlum Brown Van Open in Vancouver, Evans and Klein were in the quarter-finals, unfortunately against each other. In this battle of the Brits Evans was on paper the lower ranked underdog having come through qualifying. Much like Robson, Evans has been out of the tour due to injury and has dropped down the rankings. Working his way back through the tour Evans could well be back to where he is used to being soon.

First set saw Evans and Klein exchanging break points and games, with neither player getting too far ahead. Eventually the match went into a tiebreak and Evans shot ahead with Klein only scoring one point in the breaker. Second set and neither of the Brits could break serve, there were no break points at all this set, so much like the first it headed to a tiebreak. This breaker was much closer as they still fought on. Klein levelled the match by taking this breaker 9-7.

Fittingly the match was going the distance. The final set was very different to the first two, as the first serve points won became the major difference. Evans did not lose a point on first serve with 100% won on first serve, his first serve percentage (FSP) was 69% compared to Klein 62% FSP. Klein only managed to win one point on first serve (10%), this is what made the difference, as Evans took the set without losing a game.

Play continues in New Haven from 15:00 BST and Vancouver 19:00 BST

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