Boulter, Saville cruise in San Diego opening round

Tennis

SAN DIEGO — Katie Boulter of Britain and Daria Saville of Australia scored decisive wins Monday in the rain-interrupted opening round of the Cymbiotika San Diego Open.

Boulter earned her first win over Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko in four career matchups, 6-3, 6-1, in one hour and 11 minutes.

“I know how tough she can be to play against,” said Boulter, who collected her 10th victory over a top-50 opponent. “I’ve never won against her before. I knew today was going to be an absolute battle. I just came out and tried to compete and do the best I could. I don’t think either of us played our best tennis, but sometimes it’s about finding a way, and I did that.”

The 36th-ranked Tsurenko was indeed playing some of her best tennis earlier this month in Doha, Qatar, where she stunned sixth-ranked Ons Jabeur in the second round. However, the 34-year-old was unable to take the court for her round of 16 matchup with Naomi Osaka due to a right elbow injury. On Monday, she had eight double faults and won just four of 21 second-serve points.

Saville continues to charge back toward the top 100 after experiencing a series of injury setbacks. The 29-year-old upset 58th-ranked Zhu Lin for the second time in 2024, 6-3, 6-3. She also defeated the Chinese baseliner in January on her way to the semifinals in Hobart, Australia.

“I definitely had to run a lot today,” said Saville, who converted all four of her break-point opportunities against Zhu. “But that’s basically my game. I’m glad that I took opportunities when I could, took my own chances and made it happen.”

It was the third win in as many days for Saville, who came through the qualifying rounds.

“I always think that qualifiers are pretty dangerous,” she said. “I’ve had some of my best runs from playing qualifying.”

German qualifier Jule Niemeier beat Varvara Gracheva of France in their first-ever matchup, 6-3, 6-0, in just 54 minutes.

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, will make her tournament debut on Tuesday night against Anna Blinkova.

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