CoCo Vandeweghe advances at Birmingham grass tournament

Sports

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Former top 10 player CoCo Vandeweghe continued her resurgence on Wednesday, rallying to defeat Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the Birmingham grass-court tournament.

Tomljanovic had upset top-seeded Elise Mertens in a grueling 3-hour, three-set match on Tuesday that featured three tiebreakers. She took the first set against Vandeweghe with the help of three double faults by the 29-year-old American.

Vandeweghe used her serve to take control after that, winning 12 of 14 first-service points in the second set, including five of her 10 aces in the match.

In other matches Wednesday, Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic defeated Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-0; Kristina Mladenovic beat Fiona Ferro 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an all-French matchup; Donna Vekic of Croatia rallied to top Italy’s Camila Giorgi 2-6, 6-3, 6-1; and Heather Watson of England advanced when Shuai Zhang of China retired trailing 5-2 in the first set.

Vandeweghe reached two Grand Slam semifinals in 2017 and twice has been a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon. She earned her first tour-level, main-draw victory in nearly two years on Monday by beating Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets with the help of 13 aces.

Vandeweghe, who’s been plagued by injuries, last won a WTA match in a tournament main draw in July 2019. Once ranked as high as No. 9, she is currently No. 203 and will face No. 50 Bouzkova in the quarterfinals. The Czech was down 1-3 to Garcia in the opening set, then won 11 straight games.

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