4th seed Aga Radwanska and her lovely black and white polka dot dress have parted Flushing Meadows. Radwanska is an outstanding hard court player who just cannot--for some reason, she says it's a mystery--negotiate the courts of the U.S. Open. Radwanska lost today in the second round to Peng Shuai, the woman who took her out in the second round in 2010. Peng defeated the Polish star in straight sets today.
That was the big news, but it wasn't the only news. Sloane Stephens was also upset in the second round, by Johanna Larsson. Larsson lost the first set but then went on a campaign that combined her athleticism with determination, and which resulted in yet another "what's wrong with Sloane?" ongoing media discussion.
Known for having a mediocre (that may be too kind) record in "regular" tournaments but a very good record in the majors, Stephens' 2014 season has, to some degree, tarnished that odd reputation; she went out in the first round at Wimbledon.
Kurumi Nara was the 31st seed--not a major player at the Open--but a potentially very dangerous one. That danger was removed today by Belinda Bencic, who defeated Nara in three sets. In the thriller of the day, Andrea Petkovic barely survived Monica Puig, and Simona Halep, Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic, and Maria Sharapova all advanced.
In the first round of doubles, 6th seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears were upset, as were 10th seeds Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua. The Pliskova sisters lost to Cara Black and Sania Mirza, and received a second set bagel. Tomorrow--and what a first round match this is--the Williams sisters play Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic.