Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 2 of U.S. Open brings significant upsets

Your average 15-year-old doesn't wipe out a Tornado, then turn around and diffuse a Pocket Rocket, but CiCi Bellis does not appear to be your average 15-year-old. The teenager from California, who upset 12th seed Dominika Cibulkova today, is the youngest player to win a main draw match at a major since Anna Kournikova did it 18 years ago at the Australian Open.

Bellis earned a wild card into the U.S. Open main draw when she beat Tornado Alicia Black in the final of the USTA Girls' 18s National Championship. Appearing nerveless in her opening match in Flushing Meadows, Bellis went all aggressive with Cibulkova's second serve and beat her 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Her next opponent will be another aggressive player, Zarina Diyas.

20th seed (and 2004 champion) Svetlana Kuznetsova went out in the first round today, too. The Russian lost a third set tiebreak to Marina Erakovic. The Kuznetsova Curse remains a very reliable reality.

Donna Vekic seemed to go to pieces after her successful first set against Coco Vandeweghe, and Kiki Mladnovic won one game against 3rd seed Petra Kvitova.

Other than Elina Svitolina's loss to Polona Hercog, everything else went pretty much as it was expected to go. Genie Bouchard, Sam Stosur, Vika Azarenka, and Flavia Pennetta all advanced, as did Ekaterina Makarova. Top seed Serena Williams, looking like her "real self" in a leopard print and hot pink, advanced to the second round when she defeated Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-1.

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