It was a coming out party for a young upstart and a somewhat reestablishment of talent for a constant staple in American tennis at the Coupe Rogers. On a day that featured four North Americans at the Uniprix Stadium, only one could muster up a win. The once powerhouse continent fared about as average as possibly, but through the mediocrity of the day, there were massive signs of a bright future for the hometown girl, Francois Abanda.
The young 17 year old wildcard was making her main draw debut against Dominika Cibulkova at the tournament she lives very near to, and although she wasn't able to pull off the victory, she all but impressed everyone at the Uniprix. A slow and nervous start was expected, but the way she was able to turn things around was incredible; powerful serves and impeccable timing off the ground, the young Canadian was able to push her Slovakian opponent behind the baseline. They were on level terms once Abanda was able to keep Cilbulkova from attacking; now she was able to strut her stuff, and she did just that.
After dumping the first set, Abanda was able to win the second and really liven up the crowd; the crowd were literally on their feet pulling desperately hard for their girl. Into the deciding set they went and things just seemed to fall off for the youngster; she couldn't seem to maintain such a constant high level and she found herself chewing on a bagel. It was an unfortunate way to end such an interesting match, but there are so many positives for this young talent to take. If she can mature and really hone in her skills, there's no reason why Francois Abanda won't be one of the top ladies in the foreseeable future.
As for Cibulkova, this match was just another staple as to what a huge fighter she is and reaffirmation as to why she reached the finals at the Australian Open earlier this year; Cibulkova will next play Great Britains Heather Watson.
In other action, American star Sloane Stephens took on Canada's own Aleksandra Wozniak; Stephens came out firing from the moment the umpire said play, and one knows how rare that is for her. Stephens used that massive forehand of hers to control the rallies and she never gave her Canadian opponent a chance to get into the match. Things unraveled fast for Wozniak and Stephens marched quickly to a straight sets victory.
South Florida resident Lauren Davis was also in action as she took on the always tough Frenchwoman Alize Cornet who has two wins over Serena Williams this year. It was a nicely contested match between these two evenly matched foes, but it was the Frenchwoman who had a little more gumption and took whatever opportunities she had and booked a spot in the second round where she'll play Victoria Azarenka. So as you can see, the tournament is already heating up and things just got started.