Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Let the bleeding begin

I thought that today's top U.S. Open story was going to be the upset of Stanford champion Dominika Cibulkova by Elina Svitolina. Cibulkova, the 17th seed, lost in straight sets. And while "17th seed" may not sound like such a very big deal, Cibulkova is an especially fine hard court competitor, as evidenced by the Stanford victory.

Victoria Duval (photo by Daniel Ward)
But what do I know? The real news was to come later, when that silly ball of energy otherwise known as Vicky Duval sent 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur out of the tournament. What was interesting about this match wasn't that Stosur lost her confidence--that happens more than it should--but that Duval hung in after serving for the first set and losing it 4-6. These days, a 17-year-old who gets that kind of chance and doesn't take advantage of it is usually a teenager who is lucky to win one game in the second set.

Not Duval. She won the second set 7-5, and won the third set 6-4 after failing to convert a few match points. She just hung in there. We saw some lovely volleys from the 17-year-old, who looked considerably fitter than she did this time last year. She played very smart tennis tonight, and followed through with her knowledge that the 11th seed was vulnerable. Next up for qualifier Duval is Daniela Hantuchova.

Stosur is currently without a coach, though Alicia Molik was helping her out in New York. I suspect it may be a while before the Australian star chooses a coach; she's not the type to make an impulsive decision.

Olivia Rogowska turned out to be not such a lucky loser, after all. She was unable to take one game off of Sara Errani. And 2nd seed Victoria Azarenka decided to go Serena Williams one better; she won a 6-0, 6-0 match against Dinah Pfizenmaier.

Petra Kvitova needed (the standard) three sets to beat Misaki Doi. Varvara Lepchenko and Alexandra Dulgheru battled for almost three hours, with Dulgheru emerging the victor, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6. Annika Beck won only two games against Elena Vesnina, Oh-Nadia Petrova lost to qualifier Julia Glushko, and New Haven champion Simona Halep prevailed over Heather Watson.


Eric said...

Diane, Have you seen? On the internet, people have started writing P3tra.

Todd.Spiker said...

My favorite moment: when Duval converted that drop shot & lob over Stosur for a winner in the middle of the 2nd set. And, of course, the sly smile she tried to cover with her hand after she pulled the whole thing off.

Naturally, another player came to mind after seeing that point... but I don't think she's every really delightfully surprised when it all works. I guess if you do it often enough, it sort of becomes commonplace, which I guess it isn't quite yet for Duval. ;)

Diane said...

Eric, you can rest assured, she'll never be P3tra here :)

That was my favorite moment, too, Todd.

"but I don't think she's every really delightfully surprised when it all works." Yeah-- ho-hum :)