I was disappointed to see Johanna Konta go out today, especially since she served for the match. But Olga Govortsova (glad to see her do well, too) prevailed, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. Bojana Jovanovski showed off some of her best tennis against 13th seed Dominika Cibulkova, but Cibulkova won in two tiebreak sets. That was a really good match. I also really enjoyed watching Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, who lost to Jelena Jankovic.
Not all of the matches were available for me to watch, but most of them were, and the one I enjoyed most was the match played between Yaroslava Shvedova and Roberta Vinci. On paper, it was a battle of two contrasting styles--only Shvedova has more touch than one might think, and Vinci can hang in during a baseline rally when she has to.
Shvedova dominated the first set, and won it 6-3. Vinci took over in the second, and won it 7-5. The final set was up for grabs, and was exciting to watch. There were five breaks of serve in that set alone (12 in all), and--in the end--it was Vinci who held it together mentally, and won 7-5.
The match had everything, including power, spin, trickery, and ongoing forays to the net by both opponents. It was a pleasure to watch.
Other matches weren't such a pleasure to watch. Agnieszka Radwanska looked lost in her first set against Carla Suarez Navarro. Down a set and a break, Radwanska suddenly cracked a forehand that seemed to turn on a switch in her head. From then on, it was all about Radwanska, who won eleven straight games. She defeated Suarez Navarro 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Sloane Stephens had a time of it, trying to close out Tatjana Malek, who didn't give Stephens the kind of baseline pace she likes. It took Stephens three sets to win, and there were many wobbles along the way. Serena Williams beat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, but the Spaniard's trickery did wear Williams' patience a bit. Sara Errani ran over Vera Dushevina, who won only one game.
And--look who's in the third round of the U.S. Open: Tsvetana Pironkova! Pironkova, as always, went from brilliant to baffled and back again throughout her match against Ayumi Morita. When her serve was working, Pironkova was very dominant, but then it would stop working, and she would get into trouble. She had some help today from Morita, however, who wound up double-faulting the match away. Pironkova defeated Morita 7-5, 6-2.
I really like the U.S. Open Lacoste dress; my favorite is the gray, but I like them all. And I like Venus's dress (the design looks like roses on a trellis) a lot, though I can't imagine anyone but Venus wearing it with such panache. (There's a bit of Ted Tinling in that dress; I think he would have really liked it.)
There are three Frenchwomen who have made it to the third round--Marion Bartoli, Pauline Parmentier and Kristina Mladenovic. I doubt if anyone saw that coming.
In her press conference today, Ana Ivanovic (not surprisingly) explained that women's tennis is so popular because the players demonstrate that "girls can still be girls and yet do sports and be very athletic."
Defending champion Sam Stosur plays Varvara Lepchenko tomorrow. Lepchenko could give Stosur a bit of trouble. If the defending champ wins, will we see the Stosur Shuffle again? I kind of hope not. I would rather leave that kind of thing to Petko (or Radwanska with Petko). After you've seen the Petko Dance, do you really want to see anything else? I don't.
Laura Robson, who took Kim Clijsters out of the tournament, will play Li Na in the third round. Li is favored to win, of course, but the one thing we can be sure--one way or the other--is a press conference that will make us laugh. I think Li is the funniest woman to ever play on the tour, but for humor, Robson is no slouch, either.