MONTRÉAL, Canada - Last year she was the darling of the Rogers Cup in Toronto, and with a dramatic win on Day 1 she might just be the same thing this year in Montréal. Roberta Vinci came back from the brink of defeat in the first round of the Premier event on Tuesday, edging Yanina Wickmayer, 62 36 75.
Vinci had won her last three meetings with Wickmayer in straight sets but this one was nothing like that, not after the first set at least. Wickmayer took the second set and charged ahead 5-1 in the third, even holding a match point at 5-2, but she double faulted - eventually the Italian closed in and closed it out.
“I played a good first set and had a lot of chances to break her in the second set, but she was starting to play better,” Vinci said. “In the third set I just told myself, ‘Fight every point, every point,’ and I got back into it. I was hitting my forehand especially well in the third set. I was really focused at the end.
“I was a little bit lucky on her match point - maybe she panicked a little bit - but I’m so happy to win today, because Yanina’s a really tough player.”
Last year Vinci had an absolute breakthrough week at the Rogers Cup. After an eerily coincidental first round win over Wickmayer she scored her first win over a reigning World No.1 in the second round, beating Caroline Wozniacki. She would beat Ana Ivanovic in the third round and make the quarterfinals; the result would propel her into the Top 20 for the first time the Monday after.
The Italian also wrote her first WTA Player Blog for wtatennis.com that week.
Another coincidental match-up is up next for Vinci: Ivanovic, who is the No.11 seed this week. Ivanovic leads Vinci in their head-to-head series, 5-2, though Vinci has won two of their last three meetings (all in 2011).