Vekic, Yastremska among those advancing at San Diego Open

Donna Vekic from Croatia returns the ball to Aryna Sabalenka during a match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. (Kamran Jebreili/AP)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Croatia’s Donna Vekic and Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska were among those moving into the second round of the Cymbiotika San Diego Open on Tuesday.

Vekic, a finalist here in 2022, beat local wildcard Katherine Hui, 7-5, 6-2, in her WTA Tour singles debut. A Santa Fe Christian School graduate now playing on the collegiate level at Stanford, Hui is the reigning US Open girls’ singles titlist.

A first-time major semifinalist last month at the Australian Open, Yastremska had to dig deep in outlasting American Caroline Dolehide, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. The 23-year-old was up a set and a break only to have her opponent force a decider. Yastremska overcame nine double faults in the two-hour, eight-minute matchup.

German veteran Tatjana Maria, 36, advanced when eighth seed Leylah Fernandez retired with a left shoulder injury trailing 0-4 in the second set. It marks the third consecutive year the 21-year-old Canadian, a US Open finalist in 2021, has failed to reach the second round in San Diego.

Czech Katerina Siniakova, a doubles titlist here last year with countrywoman Barbora Krejcikova, beat Japanese qualifier Mai Hontama 6-3, 6-1, in one hour and 13 minutes. Australian wild card Taylah Preston was a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 winner over Poland’s Magdalena Frech.

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