Photo: Paul ZimmerHeather Watson (GBR)
POITIERS, FRANCE: Four seeded players made first round exits including American Christina McHale, ranked at a career high of 24 in the WTA World Rankings 14 months ago, who fell to a spirited fight back from Britain’s Heather Watson.
McHale, having taken the opening set 62, looked to be on course for a second round spot before Watson staged a remarkable turnaround against the sixth seed to narrowly take the next two sets 75 64.
Highest ranked among the seeds to fall in round one was Karolina Pliskova. The Czech Republic player, seeded fourth, only managed to take four games off her French wild card opponent Julie Coin, going down 62 62.
In a battle of the only two Swedes in the main draw, 2010 champion Sofia Arvidsson rallied from a set down to triumph 36 63 63 over her seventh seeded compatriot Johanna Larsson. Joining the seeded casualties was the highly rated Croatian teenager Donna Vekic. The eighth seed went down 64 62 to Mandy Minella of Luxembourg.
It wasn’t all bad news for the seeds though as Monica Niculescu (1), Alison Riske (3) and Alexandra Cadantu (5) all made safe progress in straight sets.
The only seed yet to play is the German second seed Annika Beck. The top 50 ranked player who earlier this year made her Fed Cup debut will be in first round action today (Wednesday) and will be facing Claire Feuerstein of France.
Completing the first round action today will be two former Wimbledon quarterfinalists in the opening matches of the day. Two-time quarterfinalist Tamira Paszek faces Britain’s Johanna Konta and Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands takes on American qualifier Nicole Melichar.
You can follow these and all other matches today and throughout the week right here on ITFtennis.com using our Pro Circuit Live Scoring feature.