Is Shelby Rogers starting a new tear? This one on hard courts?
It certainly appeared that way Monday night in Washington, D.C., as the 21-year-old touring tennis professional from Charleston upset world's No. 21 Alize Cornet of France, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, in the first round of the $250,000 Citi Open.
The victory, following on the heels of a runner-up finish in Austria, marked Rogers' 11th win in her last 14 matches. A wild card in the Washington event, Rogers is currently ranked 121st in the world, falling back the last two weeks from her career-high No. 104 as a result of her dropping the WTA Tour points from last year's title at Lexington, Ky.
After Rogers won the last five games of the first set to overcome the third-seeded Cornet's 5-2 lead, then lost control of the second set when she failed to hold service with a 3-2 lead, Rogers came charging back for a love service break to start the third set. She never trailed again.
Rogers increased the lead to 3-1 with a pair of strong service games, and served for the match with a 5-2 lead. She failed to close it out the first time, but came right back with a love service game to finish the job in two hours and six minutes.
The victory was Rogers' third win in her last four tries against top 21-ranked players.
She next faces the winner of Tuesday's match pitting unseeded players Kristyna Pliskova and Marina Erakovic.