Sunday, September 4, 2011

Round of 16 play continues Monday at U.S. Open

Here is the draw for Monday's round of 16 competition:

Caroline Wozniacki vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova: Kuznetsova won the U.S. Open in 2004 and is arguably one of the most gifted players on the tour. But for years, she has had to deal with inconsistency, and is no longer considered an elite contender. Seeded 15th, Kuznetsova will face her biggest challenge yet in this tournament when she plays world number 1 Wozniacki. The Russian has a 2-6 record against Wozniacki, and the Dane has won the last three, all of which were played on hard courts.

Andrea Petkovic vs. Carla Suarez Navarro: Suarez Navarro hasn't been part of the conversation for a long time, but now she's popped up in the round of 16 in New York. Suarez Navarro likes to play on clay courts, and the slower 2011 U.S. Open courts probably appeal to her. 10th seed Petkovic has a knee injury that has affected her more mentally than physically. The injury is healing, however, which should keep the very fit Petkovic competitive in every way.

Serena Williams vs. Ana Ivanovic: There was a time when Ivanovic was feared because of her forehand, but this is not the same Ivanovic who won the French Open in 2008. The forehand is still there, but Ivanovic is no longer a consistent winner, and she can't rely on her serve the way Williams does. Williams has yet to drop a set at this tournament, though she was seriously challenged in her second set against Victoria Azarenka.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Francesca Schiavone: If any two players can come close to providing the kind of thrills we saw today at the U.S. Open, these are the players. Schiavone was down a set (1-6) and 1-4 against Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinals of the 2011 French Open, but came back to win the match. The 7th seed's 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory was one of many come-from-behind thrillers in which Schiavone has been involved. In fact, only yesterday, the Italian star pulled off a big comeback in her third round match against Chanelle Scheepers. Schiavone can move around the court much better than the 22nd seed, but Pavlyuchenkova is a superb shot-maker.

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