Gracheva, Gasanova progress at inaugural women’s Astana Open

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan (AP) — Russian players Varvara Gracheva and Anastasia Gasanova progressed from the opening round of the inaugural women’s Astana Open on Monday.

The seventh-seeded Gracheva overcame Kristyna Pliskova 6-3, 7-6 (5) and Gasanova eased past Yuliya Hatouka of Belarus 6-1, 6-1 at the hard-court tournament.

Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine progressed when another Russian player, Vitalia Diatchenko, retired as Tsurenko was leading 6-1, 3-1.

The second-seeded Alison Van Uytvanck beat local player Zhibek Kulambayeva 6-3, 6-4.

Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia defeated Katie Boulter of Britain 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, and Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany also rallied to beat Arina Rodionova of Australia 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Home favorite Yulia Putintseva is the top seed and will hope to claim her second tour title of the year. Putintseva faces Ekaterine Gorgodze in the first round on Tuesday.

Kazakhstan is hosting the WTA tournament after Kwon Soon-woo won the men’s tournament on Sunday. Kwon became the first South Korean tennis player in 18 years to win a men’s tour title after beating James Duckworth 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the final.

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