Nur-Sultan wrap Day 2

29.09.2021    Views: 825
Source: KTF press-service
Courtney Walsh

The resilience shown by Kazakhstan favorite Zarina Diyas typified the tremendous fighting spirit displayed by several competitors on the second day of the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan.
After Anastasia Potapova and Ana Konjuh progressed to the second round with straight sets wins, a day resplendent with tremendous tussles unfolded in the WTA 250 in Kazakhstan.
The endurance and experience of Diyas and Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic, who shared the honor of winning the longest matches of the day, proved critical to their victories.
Diyas, 27, was able to hold her composure late in a clash with Russian qualifier Anastasia Zakharova when winning 7-6 (6) 4-6 7-5 in 2hr 53min.
«It was my first match, at home, so I was a bit nervous, and I could not find the rhythm. But I am happy with how I fought and I am happy with how I won,» she said.
Diyas, who won the Japan Open in 2017, said it was a thrill to secure a victory on home soil in the inaugural WTA Tour event played in Kazakhstan.
«It means a lot to me. It was always my dream to play here in Kazakhstan in a WTA tournament,» she said.
«This is the first time. I was a bit nervous today, because this was my first match, and I really wanted to play well and I wanted to win. That is why I didn’t play my best tennis today.
«But I am happy to see the home crowd. Even when I was down, they were cheering really hard for me. To see my friends, to see my family, it gave me energy. It gave me the power to fight for every point. It really helped me.»
Yulia Putintseva, a Billie Jean King Cup teammate of Diyas, wrapped up a busy day in Nur-Sultan with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Ekaterine Gorgodze.
The ease of her triumph on the indoor hardcourts was at odds with the majority of matches on Tuesday and suggests Putintseva is the player to beat in the Astana Open. 
«It was a really, really long day,» she said.
«It feels cool to play with your home crowd. It is special. We don’t have much of a chance to do that during the year. It is really great for our country to have this tournament. I hope to stay here as long as I can.»
Kazakh wildcard Anna Danilini stretched Mladenovic, the third seed, in a marathon that lasted 3hr 53min, equalling the length of the match claimed by Diyas.
After her 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-4 victory, Mladenovic praised her rival, stating she played at a level far above what her ranking of 287 indicates.
Potapova was the first winner on Tuesday when beating Lesley Pattinama Kerkhowe 7-5 6-1. Konjuh followed soon after when too good for Urszula Radwanska 7-6 (6) 6-1.
Then the marathons began. Rebecca Peterson defeated Stefanie Voegele7-5 4-6 6-3 in 2hr 52min. Vera Lapko edged Jule Niemeier 7-5 4-6 7-5 in 2hr 09min.
Jaqueline Cristian ousted Natalia Vikhlyantseva 4-6 7-5 6-2 in 2hr 32min.  Kaja Juvan won another three set match when upsetting fourth seed Greet Minnen 2-6 7-6 (5) 6-4 in 2hr 27min. 
Clara Burel enjoyed the easiest path and was leading 5-2 when Mandy Minella retired.

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