Tomljanovic downs local favorite Rogers at Charleston tennis event


Washington (AFP)

Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic handed Shelby Rogers another disappointing defeat in her hometown on Wednesday with a straight set win in the Credit One Bank Invitational in Charleston, South Carolina.

Tomljanovic beat Rogers 6-1, 6-2 on the second day of the tournament, which is giving WTA players, led by Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, a chance to compete before the women's tennis tour ends its coronavirus shutdown in August.

It's not the first time Tomljanovic has tested herself since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the WTA tour -- along with virtually all global sport -- to a standstill.

She competed in last month's UTR Pro Match Series.

Those matches were contested in the shortened Fast4 format, while this week's event on the green clay courts that host a WTA Tour event each year features 16 players contesting traditional singles and doubles in a team format.

Strict social distancing and other health protocols are in place for the event, which means that Rogers is staying not at home but in a hotel near the venue.

Nor can she count on support of family and friends in the stands, which are empty.

“It's definitely not the same,” Rogers told The Post & Courier newspaper in Charleston.

But Rogers said the toughest adjustment was making her own line calls in the absence of line judges.

"That was the worst part for me," Rogers said. "I was not very good at calling the lines. I didn’t want to cheat her, so I think I missed a couple, so then I got ticked about that."

Other results on Wednesday, which saw a second straight day of rain delays, included Amanda Anisimova's 7-5, 6-4 victory over fellow American Daniella Collins and team captain Bethanie Mattek-Sands' 6-1, 6-3 victory over Puerto Rico's Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig.