Competitive Qualifying Draw Kicks Off After Rain

NEW HAVEN, CT:  Roberta Vinci plays against Lourdes Dominguez Lino during the 2015 Connecticut Open at the Yale University Tennis Center on Friday, August 21, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open)

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Connecticut Open

With a sky-high main draw cut-off and a limited number of spots, the qualifying draw at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies takes on the look of that of a Grand Slam in the first round – or second.

Friday the qualifying draw got underway in full at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, with rain delaying play beyond 2pm before players got on court for the first of three qualifying rounds, 48 players battling for six coveted main draw spots.

American Irina Falconi led the charge on Friday, the 25-year-old ranked No. 73 in the world marking down a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Danka Kovinic, a hard-hitting baseliner. Louisa Chirico, a 19-year-old from the New York City area, was also a winner, beating Yale’s Carol Finke, a wild card.

No. 3 seed Lesia Tsurenko was the highest-ranked winner on Friday (world No. 44), followed by Roberta Vinci, Carina Witthoeft, Magdalena Rybarikova and Alexandra Dulgheru, all ranked inside the top 60.

Laura Robson, 21, was also in action, the Briton ranked as high as No. 27 in the world in 2013 continuing her comeback from a wrist injury that put her out for a majority of 2014 and the first half of this year. Robson beat a fellow wild card, Alexa Graham, in three sets.

Saturday the action continues, Falconi getting a challenge from No. 14 seed Annika Beck, a German who didn’t drop a single game in her first match on Friday. Chirico, meanwhile, will do battle with No. 10 seed Johanna Larsson.

The rain pushed back the first round matches for American Christina McHale as well as Russian Elena Vesnina’s, instead re-scheduled for Saturday.

Fans have all-day access to the qualifying matches Saturday, with play underway at 10am and tickets just $7.

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