Shelby Rogers, out since March 2018 following knee surgery, enjoyed a triumphant return Monday in her hometown tournament.
The 26-year-old South Carolina native beat Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, S.C.
“I don’t remember the last time I cried after winning a first set,” Rogers said after the match. “It’s kind of embarrassing, to be honest. It was a great moment, I enjoyed every second of it — even when I got broken. That’s part of it.
“It’s all those feelings I missed so much: the adrenaline, the nerves, the excitement, everything. You can’t recreate that outside of the arena.”
Also earning first-round wins in the event were ninth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, 10th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, 13th-seeded Sofia Kenin of the United States and 14th-seeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia.
The tournament’s top eight seeds, including No. 1 Sloane Stephens of the United States and No. 2 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, received first-round byes.
Abierto GNP Seguros
Sixth-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium and eighth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia posted first-round victories in Monterrey, Mexico.
Flipkens cruised past Serbia’s Olga Danilovic 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes, while Rybarikova edged Japan’s Misaki Doi 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in 2 hours, 22 minutes.
Top-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, second-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain, third-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and fourth-seeded Alison Riske of the United States will open tournament play Tuesday.
—Field Level Media