Rebecca Marino from the National Bank Open in Montreal

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Organizers of the National Bank Open women’s tennis championships breathed a sigh of relief Monday night after scheduling most of the opening day’s games despite three rain delays.

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Only one center court game was completed during the wet afternoon session, but the final rain showers of the day continued until the evening’s two games were completed.

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For fans braving the changeable weather, there was some disappointment as two crowd favorites lost.

Veteran Venus Williams dropped a 6-2, 7-5 decision to 13th-set Madison Keys and Rebecca Vancouver’s Marino, lost to Britain’s Katie Boulter,

Marino noted that while Boulter needed to qualify for the main draw, that might have given her an advantage as she had two games to get used to the pitch. And Marino said she might have spoiled her chances with inconsistent serves.

“I looked at those stats and I wasn’t satisfied,” said Marino.

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However, she did point out that Boulter is on the rise after winning her maiden WTA title on the Nottingham turf earlier this year.

American Jennifer Brady, who won her first WTA Tour match in almost two years in Washington last week, battled her way to a 7-6(7) 0-6 7-6(8). Victory over Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia.

Brady, classified down to 13th place, entered the tournament on a protected ranking.

Brady appeared to be in top form as she reached the finals of the 2020 US Open and 2021 Australian Open. But things took a turn for the worse when she felt a crack in her heel while playing Ostapenko in the WTA 1000 later that year.

That bang ended up being a plantar fascia tear which, combined with a stress fracture in her right knee shortly afterwards, left 28-year-old Brady out of action for 698 days.

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“I have no idea how I won this match,” Brady said. “On the pitch I don’t feel like I’m moving as well as I’d like, I’m not hitting the ball as deep or as heavy as I’d like. I don’t play good tennis, I just play tennis. That’s how I feel on the pitch.”

“I knew (the last game against Ostapenko) was the last game I played before I got injured and I was really looking forward to (the rematch),” Brady said. “I wish I could have played a better game, but who cares? People only look at the result, so I’m glad I kind of won that match.”

Brady came back from a 4-2 deficit in the first set and was down. 3-0 in the third.

Brady said her goal at that point was to win an easy game.

“I don’t want to lose 0 and 0,” Brady said. “It’s embarrassing. I just wanted to get off the pitch. I don’t want to be here at all. But then she gave me a small chance, a few unforced errors. Then in the tie-break, same as the first set. I just tried, there to stay in.”

America’s Sloane Stephens defeated Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina 6-4, 7-6.

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advertising 1 Rebecca Marino from the National Bank Open in Montreal

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