While some WTA top players are resting their bodies and minds for the battles to come at the 2017 US Open Tennis Championships, others had a different strategy prior to the last Grand Slam of the season. A jam-packed herd traveled to Connecticut to fill up the main draw of New Haven event. However, the inaugural round saw a lot of high-profile players seeing their bids prematurely ended. One by one, Elena Vesnina, Petra Kvitova and Kristina Mladenovik fell short despite being favorites' for their encounters.

New Haven, a well-established WTA stop of the summer season, is the right place to get things in order before the US Open. There is a chance to improve for those who came short during the previous two big events in Canada and Cincinnati.

Elena Vesnina lost to Ana Bogdan in straight sets

The 31-year-old Russian player Vesnina is ranked 18th in the world and recently she saw her tennis quality going down at a staggering pace. A doubles player by definition, she had a late bloom in singles. Back in 2016, she reached the semis at Wimbledon in the ladies singles contest.

Earlier this year, she surprised everyone by winning her first Premier Mandatory title at Indian Wells. Since then, she has been struggling to find some rhythm. Seeded fifth in New Haven, she lost to Ana Bogdan (127 WTA), a qualifier in two symmetrical sets 7-5 7-5 at the end of two hours of play.

Kristina Mladenovic came short to Timea Babos

The 24-year-old Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic is far from the game of tennis she has produced earlier this year, especially on the clay court. The same as Vesnina, as the season went deeper, her reservoir of lucidity and focus got emptier.

On the other side, Timea Babos (66 WTA) and Hungary's No. 1 was trying to regain the lost shape of 2016 when she did well during the summer swing. Ranked 14th in the world and the fourth seed in Connecticut, Mladenovic lost in straight sets 7-5 7-5, despite having some set points in the late stages of the second act. Failing to convert any of those three set points came with a heavy price as Babos reached the finish line first. Daria Gavrilova (26 WTA), who edged Kristyna Pliskova (40 WTA) awaits in the next round.

Former champion Petra Kvitova had no luck either

But the list of upsets was about to get bigger. Three-time former champion Petra Kvitova saw her run coming to a premature end in the opening round. Ranked 13th in the world she was seeded third in the main draw but had no chance against a highly-motivated Shuai Zhang who dispatched her in straight sets by 6-2 6-1. Winning just three games against a player ranked 29th in the world is just another example of how Kvitova is struggling to regain form after an extended break.

Zhang will take on Magda Linette who got past Roberta Vinci (2015 US Open runner-up) in the inaugural round.

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