Friday, August 29, 2014

Don't blink

You might miss an upset at the U.S. Open. Today, the big upset was Mirjana Lucic-Baroni's straight set defeat of 2nd seed Simona Halep. Halep held a 5-2 lead in the first set, and after Lucic-Baroni "caught up," it was pretty much over for Halep, who was defeated 7-6, 6-2 in a comeback moment that was--for a few reasons--reminiscent of Jelena Dokic's run at the 2009 Australian Open. Halep was obviously having an "off" day, but part of the reason she was having trouble was the switched-on game of Lucic-Baroni.

It wasn't just Halep who made an exit. There was also 6th seed Angelique Kerber, who lost in three sets to tough-minded Belinda Bencic from Switzerland. Bencic is a really big talent, and this kind of thing was going to happen sooner or later--and my bet was on "sooner." Coached, from time to time, and mentored by Melanie Molitor, the 17-year-old has the mindset of Martina Hingis, but is a much bigger hitter. Bencic handled the occasion with a nice combination of excitement and steadiness, and advances to the round of 16.

The biggest drama of the day was Sara Errani's 6-0, 0-6, 7-6 defeat of Venus Williams. (If that has a familiar ring to it, here's why: Kim Clijsters defeated Williams 6-0, 0-6, 6-4 in the third round of the 2009 U.S. Open.) Williams made 52 unforced errors. On the plus side, she and sister Serena won their second round doubles match.

Peng Shuai, Lucie Safarova and Caroline Wozniacki all advanced, defeating Roberta Vinci, Alize Cornet and Andrea Petkovic, respectively. And--a happy moment--the Light and the Joy moved to the round of 16, allowing Johanna Larsson to win only game. As I write this, Maria Sharapova is a set away from advancing; she took the first set 6-2 over Sabine Lisicki.


sunny nine said...

I really think what got Halep were those stinging, blazing forehands of Lucic-Baroni, deep into the corners. Even Haleps lighting speed couldn't run them down. I don't think Halep knew what to do. She usually gets a little moody when she perceives a mistake as her fault, but against Lucic-Baroni she just generally continued to move on after the points. There is not much you can do when your opponent is in the groove

Diane said...

Lucic made me think of "good" Petra :)