Bondarenko upset at Ponte Vedra
Unseeded Olga Govortsova of Belarus handed second-seeded Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine an upset 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 loss in the first round of the MPS Group Championships.
“I didn’t start well in the second set and at the break I was telling myself to be more aggressive,” said Govortsova, who is ranked 52nd in the world. “She moves well and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes so you have to be aggressive to beat her.”
Bondarenko, No. 25 in the world and a quarterfinalist here last year, couldn’t explain her early exit.
“I don’t know what happened,” she said. “I don’t have any confidence and it’s tough. I’m playing scared to lose.”
It was her fourth consecutive tournament in which she lost the first match she played.
Eighth-seeded American Melanie Oudin beat Rossana De Los Rios of Paraguay 7-5, 6-2.
Oudin had a 5-2 lead in the first set slip away before rallying and broke De Los Rios’ serve each time in the second set.
“I could have closed the first set a lot quicker,” she said. “But I did really well on the key points.”
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, ranked No. 2 in the world, had 77% of her first serves in and took 56 minutes to win her first-round match against Switzerland’s Patty Schnyder, 6-0, 6-4.
“The first clay court match of the year is always a bit tricky,” Wozniacki said. “You have to get used to it but I actually felt pretty good out there.”
“I have been serving harder but here I have to focus on getting first serves in,” she said. “I have to feel more comfortable getting first serves in than serving maybe 10 miles an hour harder.”
Fourth-seeded Elena Vesnina of Russia held off Australian Sophie Ferguson, 6-2, 6-3.
Seventh-seeded Virginie Razzano of France withdrew with a right foot injury. Her spot was taken in the draw by American Vavara Lepchenko who beat Colombian Mariana Duque Marino, 6-1, 7-6 (2).
In other matches, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Russia’s Anastasia Rodionova, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5; Angelique Kerber of Germany beat American Vania King, 6-2, 6-3 and Japan’s Ayumi Morita beat Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
China’s Shuai Peng beat Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan 6-4, 6-2 and German Julia Goerges beat Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.