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Tennis in the Land top seeds Kasatkina, Kontaveit advance


CLEVELAND — Top seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia and second seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia won their first round matches at Tennis in the Land.

Kasatkina defeated Kaja Juvan of Slovenia 6-3, 6-3 in the opening match of the day, while Kontaveit rallied for a 1-6, 6-0, 6-0 victory over Lauren Davis in the evening session on the stadium court at Jacobs Pavilion.

No. 26 Kasatkina, who received a wild-card entry into the tournament, eliminated the No. 109 Juvan despite not getting an ace in the 1 hour, 27 minute contest. She will face No. 33 Catherine McNally in the round of 16.

No. 28 Kontaveit overcame a poor start and a wave of support behind Northeast Ohio native Davis in the first WTA tournament held in Cleveland. She snapped a five-match losing streak that began in the final at the Viking International Eastbourne.

“I started slow and Lauren was playing really well in the first set, being really aggressive,” Kontaveit said. “I was expecting the crowd to be behind her, but I was really grateful that we got to play in front of people. They bring so much energy to the court.”

After her serve was broken three times in the first, Kontaveit limited the 97th-ranked Davis to nine points in the second and 14 points in the third. Davis had been 9-0 when winning the opening set this year.

“It’s incredibly disappointing, but it was a cool experience nonetheless,” Davis said. “Cleveland has my heart.”

Kontaveit will play No. 61 Caroline Garcia of France in the second round. Also advancing was the youngest player in the top 400, 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic, who beat Tara Moore of Great Britain 6-4, 7-5.

Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, who was the runner-up at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati two days earlier, withdrew from the event.

Top seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan beat Anastasia Rodionova and Galina Voskoboeva 6-4, 6-3 in their first match in 16-team doubles draw.