US Open Day 3, 2nd Round Predictions: Kerber-Bouchard and Jankovic-Kleybanova

First it’s time for a rant… the US Open have decided for the past couple of years to split the mens first round over 3 days, which personally I think is ludicrous! I had a similar issue with the French Open starting their tournament on a Sunday, but this year was the first time that they have committed to it with a number of big names, both men and women headlining the schedule.  In addition, it means I get an extra day of live tennis at the weekend.  This move by the US Open, obviously for TV, is just plain frustrating and confusing at times with 2nd round womens matches played before some 1st round mens matches… rant over!

1. Angelique Kerber v Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard

2012 was a breakout year for Angelique Kerber, but she has struggled to back it up this year, particularly during the summer where she suffered a string of tough losses.  She started her US Open in convincing fashion with a 6-1 6-1 win against Lucie Hradecka, but like Wimbledon, where she lost in the second round to Kaia Kanepi, she faces a very dangerous opponent.  Eugenie Bouchard was earmarked as one to watch when she won the Wimbledon Juniors title last year and she has steadily built together a solid set of results in 2013, most notably beating Ana Ivanovic at Wimby and pushing Serena Williams to 3 sets in Cincy.  Bouchard has a solid enough game, but she can hit winners, certainly at more ease and willingness than Kerber.  Bouchard has risen to the big occasion before and based on Kerber’s recent performances where she has really struggled to step it up, I think Eugenie will grab her biggest career win yet…

Prediction – Bouchard to beat Kerber in 3 sets

2. Jelena Jankovic v Alisa Kleybanova
Jelena Jankovic

Those who read my blog regularly will have noticed I have championed the return of Alisa Kleybanova.  It was always going to be a tough ask of Alisa, but she has made an incredibly encouraging comeback this summer after fighting Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011.  She notched up her first win of the year in Cincy against Sofia Arvidsson and yesterday, took out the very talented Monica Puig in a tough three setter, 6-4 3-6 7-5.  Kleybanova now gets a shot at Jelena Jankovic, who started in commanding fashion with a 6-3 6-4 victory over a potential banana skin in Madison Keys.  Jankovic and Kleybanova have a colourful head-to-head with JJ leading by 3 wins to 2.  I enjoy watching Kleybanova’s game and I hope this match gets on a court with live streaming.  I expect at least one tight set, but JJ should be too strong in the end.

Prediction – Jankovic to beat Kleybanova in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)
Best of the rest: 2nd round US Open womens predictions
Serena Williams to beat Galina Voskoboeva in 2 sets
Yaroslava Shvedova to beat Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in 2 sets
Jamie Hampton to beat Kristina Mladenovic in 2 very tight sets
Sloane Stephens to beat Urszula Radwanska in 3 sets
Venus Williams to beat Zheng Jie in 2 tight sets
Carla Suarez Navarro to beat Coco Vandeweghe in 2 tight sets
Kaia Kanepi to beat Anna Schmiedlova in 2 sets
Agnieszka Radwanska to Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor in 2 sets
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to beat Ashleigh Barty in 2 sets
Ekaterina Makarova to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 3 sets
Sabine Lisicki to beat Paula Ormaechea in 3 sets
Sorana Cirstea to beat Kurumi Nara in 2 sets
Laura Robson to beat Caroline Garcia in 3 sets
Li Na to beat Sofia Arvidsson in 2 sets

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