Hawaiian 19-year-oild Shelby Baron secured a surprise American home victory on Wednesday’s first day of the Pensacola Open after beating Japan’s world No 13 Miho Nijo in straight sets.
World No. 76 Baron had lost 62 63 to Nijo when the two players met a week ago in the first round of the Cajun Classic, but the American managed to turn the tables and win two tiebreaks for a 76 76 win over world No. 13 Nijo in Pensacola, earning herself a quarterfinal against Dutch defending Marjolein Buis.
Buis opened her title defence with a 61 61 victory over Lithuania’a Karolina Lingyte, while the remaining quarterfinals will include an intriguing contest between Dutch second seed and world No. 3 Aniek van Koot and South Africa’s world No. 7 Kgothatso Montjane. Montjane won the only first round match between two world top 10 ranked players, defeating Britain’s world No. 8 Lucy Shuker 63 63, while van Koot had a first round bye.
Willemien Smits also set up an all-Dutch quarterfinal against top seed Jiske Griffioen, with fourth seed Jordanne Whiley and Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Morch all set to meet for a place in the semifinals after both earning early straight sets wins.
Vink prevails in three sets
A week after going out of the Cajun Classic in the first round, Ronald Vink won the only three set match as the men’s singles got underway with seven first round matches. After Vink and Brit Marc McCarroll reached the men’s consolation singles final at the Cajun Classic, former world No. 3 Vink won their latest contest 64 36 60 to set up a match with Belgian world No. 4 Joachim Gerard.
Australia’s top two players Adam Kellerman and Ben Weekes met for the second time this year, with Kellerman earning a 61 61 victory. Kellerman will now bid to repeat his win over Japan’s Takashi Sanada in Baton Rouge last week when the two player meet in another second round match.
Like Kellerman, Austria’s Martin Legner and South Africa’s Evans Maripa also dropped just two games apiece to set up second round matches against seeded opposition in the bottom half of the draw, while Brazil’s Mauricio Pomme, young Dutchman Carlos Anker and Canada’s Philippe Bedard all reached the last 16 in the top half of the draw.
The first day’s action in Pensacola also saw Julio Chacon of Guatemala, David Jordan of USA and Canada’s Robert Shaw all make it through qualifying to earn places in the first round of the quad singles.