Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Drama builds on day 2 of the U.S. Open

It's just the second day of the U.S. Open, but the drama has already begun. Most of it occurred in a match which received little attention: Johanna Konta--who was playing in her first major--came from 1-5 down in the second set to achieve a straight-sets win over Timea Babos. There was a 14-deuce game at 5-3, which Konta won. Konta's 6-2, 7-5 victory puts her into the second round against Olga Govortsova, who defeated 29th seed Tamira Paszek in straight sets.

Moving on to a match that received a lot more attention: 8th seed Caroline Wozniacki, playing with the knee injury that took her out of New Haven, lost in straight sets to Irina-Camelia Begu. Wozniacki was clearly struggling throughout the match, but--to her credit--Begu played extremely well in both sets, and her serving was superb.

Yaroslava Shvedova beat her close friend and doubles partner, Vania King. Serena Williams rolled past Coco Vandeweghe, 6-1, 6-1, in just 56 minutes. Sloane Stephens held her nerve and defeated 22nd seed Francesca Schiavone. For a few moments--toward the end of the second set--it looked like this match might turn into a typical Schiavone drama-filled comeback, but Stephens didn't let it happen; she won on her third match point.

Who would have thought that, at the end of the second round, Angelique Kerber and Tatjana Malek would be the last two Germans standing? Sabine Lisicki, Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic (understandably) went out yesterday, and today, it was Mona Barthel who said goodbye to Flushing Meadows. Barthel lost to Bojana Jovanovski. The two remaining Germans face two players from the USA in the next round. Malek will play Sloane Stephens, and Kerber will play Venus Williams, who beat countrywoman Bethanie Mattek-Sands today. Kerber beat Williams at the Olympic Games, so there's some built-in drama surrounding their U.S. Open second-round match.

Both Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic advanced today, as did Sara Errani and Ekaterina Makarova. Kiki Bertens beat Christina McHale, and.Irina Falconi lost to Olga Puchkova. Stephens, Williams, Williams, Varvara Lepchenko, and Mallory Burdette are the five players from the USA who are still in the draw.

Tomorrow, world number 1 Victoria Azarenka takes on Kirsten Flipkens, who--on her good days--is fun to watch. Kim Clijsters plays Laura Robson.


Anonymous said...

King and Svedova are still doubles partners. They just took a break for the Olympics.

Diane said...

I didn't know that. I was led to believe their issues went beyond the Games. Good to know--thanks.

Jim Lumpkin said...

Sloane is likeable. Her style is interesting. She stands straight up a lot of the time and hits with less knee bend than most players. Surprising power there.

Diane said...

That's a good observation, Jim. She does stand pretty straight. I enjoy watching her and I think she is maturing nicely as a player.