A huge upset emerged on the second day of action at the Connecticut Open as qualifier Ana Bogdan shocked the fifth seed Elena Vesnina in the first round, triumphing in two tight sets after her higher-ranked opponent was unable to convert her opportunities in the match. The Romanian prevailed after a lengthy 121 minutes, looking very solid on her serve.
Vesnina fails to convert her chances, allows Bogdan to steal the first set 7-5
It was a nervy start to the match for Bogdan as she was the player who served first in the opening game. The early jitters she faced were reflected on the scoreboard when Vesnina was able to produce some strong returns behind the vulnerable second serves of the Romanian, quickly earning two break points within a blink of an eye. However, the underdog was able to find some of her best first serves and fended off those break points, recovering from the brink to seal the first game.
Vesnina followed suit, though with less drama, as she held her serve to love, getting herself onto the scoreboard. The Russian got to 30-30 in the next game, but this time she failed to find any break point opportunities as Bogdan held firm and narrowly secured her service game. At one point in time, there was three consecutive love service holds as both players started to be very solid on their serves, being consistent and precise in their shots.
It is worth noting that Vesnina only lost just one single point, which was a double fault, on her serve through her first four service games. Serving to stay in the set at 4-5, Vesnina showed some nerves and allowed Bogdan to earn two set points out of nowhere. Nevertheless, the Romanian crumbled to the pressure and sent a couple of returns wide, allowing Vesnina to return from the brink and narrowly level the scores.
This time, it was Bogdan who saved a break point as she almost got herself into deep trouble, but still managed to find her first serves at the crucial moments to hold serve for a 6-5 lead.
Vesnina would rue all her missed opportunities as she fell behind 0-40 while serving to stay in the set for the second straight time, with a comeback looking difficult to mount. Finally, this time Bogdan claimed the first set 7-5 after 47 minutes as she clinched the first break of the match in the final game of the set, being halfway from the huge upset.
Vesnina fights back but unable to complete the comeback as Bogdan seals the win
A huge contrast to the first set, it was an exchange of service breaks which opened the second set as both players started to commit a couple of unforced errors. Nonetheless, it was business as usual from then on as both players started to find the rhythm on their serve, playing some impressive aggressive tennis. Bogdan had to survive a marathon fifth game on her serve as she was forced to fend off a couple of break points, but still held firm to remain on serve after the marathon 22-point game which lasted for over 10 minutes.
The lengthy game seemed to have taken a toll on the Russian as she was immediately broken in the next game, allowing Bogdan to earn the huge 7-5 4-2 lead, looking poised to close out the win. However, Vesnina placed herself right back into contention when she broke straight back and even earned the golden opportunity to take the lead in the ninth game, but failed to convert two break points. Serving at 5-6 for the second consecutive set, Vesnina was once again unable to hold her serve as Bogdan eventually clinched the huge upset after 2 hours and 1 minute.