Little was said about the all-Italian match held today in Flushing Meadows, but nevertheless, the 4th seed, Sara Errani, was taken out of the event by countrywoman Flavia Pennetta, who defeated her 6-3, 6-1. Errani has been trailing off lately, and is experiencing a kind of burnout, while Pennetta has struggled to come back from various injuries. The Pennetta of old showed up today, however, and displayed the kind of tennis that has made her so wonderful to watch for so long.
Eugenie Bouchard took a set off of Angelique Kerber, but Kerber prevailed in what was a pretty entertaining match. Christina McHale won a three-setter against Elina Svitolina (who upset Dominika Cibulkova in the opening round). McHale won 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, and it took her two hours and 47 minutes. There was a lot of drama. Between them, the players hit 61 winners and made 104 unforced errors.
Vicky Duval was expertly defeated by Daniela Hantuchova before the press and the public had a chance to Oudin her into a life of talk shows and ridiculous expectations. Serena Williams and Victoria Azareanka won in straight sets, though the 2nd seed had a bit of a fight on her hands from Aleksandria Wozniak in the first set. Kurumi Nari won her first-ever match in the main draw of a major, and she did it in style: She took out 19th seed Sorana Cirstea.
2004 champion Svetalana Kuznetsova advanced to the third round, as did Jelena Jankovic and Petra Kvitova. And Simona Halep is still around, too. Her next opponent is Maria Kirilenko, and that's a must-see match for me. (Of course--don't you know?--my ISP's connection with the Watch ESPN app broke this evening, but I'm told the company is working on the problem as I write this.)
Serena and Venus Williams won their opening doubles match. They beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7, 6-0, 6-3. It's an odd scoreline, I know. The match was pretty interesting, especially with Soler-Espinosa lurking at the net almost breathing down the Williams sisters' necks. The Spaniards had the right idea, but they couldn't quite pull it off.
Tomorrow, Li Na plays Laura Robson (third round, just like last year). Unfortunately, I won't be able to watch much of that one, but I hope to catch a replay. Also tomorrow, Sloane Stephens plays Jamie Hampton. And top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci (Vinci is still alive singles) start their U.S. Open title defense with a match against Daniela Hantuchova and Martina Hingis.