US Open 2015, Day 1: Upsets galore in the women’s draw as six seeds depart

Mladenovic

After Maria Sharapova pulled out of the tournament, it left a pretty gaping hole in the top half of the draw. First round action on day one has chucked the second quarter (and parts of the first too) into a blender as seed after seed departed. The first to go was Ana Ivanovic, who was ousted by Dominika Cibulkova in three sets (see full match recap HERE). It wasn’t a major surprise with Cibulkova’s credentials of being a Grand Slam finalist and a former top ten player. Svetlana Kuznetsova was the next one to go, falling in straight sets to Kristina Mladenovic, 6-3 7-5. Kuznetsova hadn’t played since Washington because of a leg injury so this was an expected result. Mladenovic has a really decent opening in this draw.

The next two upsets were definitely not expected… step forward, Anna Tatishvili and Oceane Dodin. Tatishvili and Dodin have combined for just four WTA main draw wins in 2015 but both players added to their tallies with victories over Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Jankovic respectively. Tatishvili was zoning at the end of her match against Pliskova, eventually pulling away at speed to prevail, 6-2 6-1 in less than an hour. It was a shocking result for Pliskova who was crowned the US Open Series champion after her points were doubled for playing more than three tournaments over the Summer… Eeeek. I didn’t have high hopes for Pliskova this fortnight but I never expected this loss or SCORELINE. She didn’t put up much, if any, resistance in the second set.

Dodin came from a set down to beat Jankovic, 2-6 7-5 6-3. The Frenchwoman is well known for her HUGE game but the results haven’t been there this year. Dodin’s only other main draw win at WTA level came at the Australian Open against Alison Riske but since then, hadn’t beaten a player in the world’s top 150. Sporting a heavily bandaged leg, Dodin held her nerve to serve out the match to love in the third set.

The upsets kept coming as Carla Suárez Navarro‘s losing streak was stretched to seven matches. She was beaten by Denisa Allertova, 6-1 7-6(5). The Czech player was down 1-4 and 3-5 in the second set and also saved SIX set points. She hit a gorgeous backhand down-the-line in the tiebreak and benefitted from a double fault by the Spaniard on match point. Suárez Navarro is really struggling right now and has won just one set since June. After looking in a comfortable position to qualify for Singapore, Carla will be out of the top eight come the end of the tournament.

Venus Williams survived joining the cull of seeds as she fought of an incredibly gutsy effort from Monica Puig. The Puerto Rican won the second set tiebreak by virtue of a double fault (but she had played some great tennis to force it) before succumbing in the third set, 6-4 6-7(7) 6-3. It was a decent win for Venus but you have to wonder how much this match may have taken out of her. In an all-American clash, the final seed to fall in day one was Sloane Stephens. She was defeated by CoCo Vandeweghe in straight sets, 6-4 6-3. Sloane was broken serving with scoreboard pressure at *4-5 in the first set and looked passive and timid. I thought she would turn it around but CoCo had a good serving day, despite only getting 47% of first serves in.

Sooooo… in the second quarter of the draw we now know that one of Kasatkina, Konjuh, Jovanovski, Mladenovic, Svitolina, Kanepi, Davis, Makarova, Allertova, Vinci, Duque-Marino, Dodin, Bouchard, Hercog, Pegula or Cibulkova will be a US Open 2015 semi-finalist.

Errr wow… who are you going for?

16 thoughts on “US Open 2015, Day 1: Upsets galore in the women’s draw as six seeds depart

  1. Hopefully Svitolina’s lower back injury is healed,good solid start in her first rd match:) I also liked the way Domi who has been to a final at a GS defeated Ana,she could be the dark horse in this section,still her serve is a worry to me,I have voted for Svitolina,hopefully she won’t let me down:)

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    • I think Svitolina’s draw is actually pretty tough. If she gets through the next two rounds then i’d take her to the SFs but right now, i’d go for Cibulkova or Mladenovic.

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    • All things being equal, I would pick them in this order, Cibulkova, Mladenovic, and Svitolina. I am hesistant with Domi because, although she is fresher, I think she is not fully big match ready, mentally. It is easy to take on baseliners like Ana, but if you have to wrestle a good variety player, she may become exasperated. Mladenovic really needs to find her zone game, then she can force this run. With Maria and Ana out, anyone in that section just needs to find some grit and make a dash for it.

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  2. In her match at New Haven Pliskova told her coach she had nothing left in her legs… Maybe she’s still feeling fatigued? She isn’t having a great second half of the season! On the bright side her poor performance in the Slams leaves a big opportunity to gain points next year.

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    • I think she was fatigued but then if that was the case, I don’t understand why she played New Haven. It’s a shame she hasn’t been able to have that breakthrough at a Slam and I wonder if it’s becoming a bit of a mental stumbing block for her now.

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      • It’s strange because I had her pegged as a big match winner, being that she’s so laid back and calm. But this year that really hasn’t been the case.

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    • It’s the pacing, she started the year really well. I can understand them though, sometimes when you get the momentum going, you don’t want to stop it. Truth be told, it takes a lot to play the full year consistently. Even Caroline isn’t doing that so much now. The smart move will be to target the Australian Open. I feel her talent is still on the rise. Similarly, Cibulkova usually has a terrible second half, but due to being sidelined with surgery, she’s up running and upsetting folks.

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  3. All women seeds are falling like pack of cards and those underdogs who are winning will fall again in the next round to seeds and this sine curve will go on till Queen Serena lifts it. Already burnt my fingers yesterday a bit. Better to play on men’s side, the returns are not good but they have some consistency.With women you can make tens of thousands but the flip side is more dangerous. @Indianpuntmaster

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  4. Honestly, these upsets are within reason. Save for Serena, there is a pool of inconsistent women in the top 50. I always believed the first round matches will be a strong tell. In the end, it will be more about mental strength than brilliant talent to win this trophy.

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    • To be fair Serena has only truly become consistent in the last few years. From 2004 to 2011 she only ever won a couple of titles each year at most, it just happened that those were Slams.

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      • Agreed, and even with her it’s because she is able/can afford to pick and choose her tournaments. But to her credit, when she shows up, she delivers, even at the very big ones. That is her saving grace.

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      • Look at Serena profile on WTA. She barely played, only playing 8 tournament a year. So your point is nonsense, if Serena had played 20 tournament a year then I will see your point.

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  5. Bad luck for Safarova who had a ‘ab tear’ in her singles match,has withdrawn from the doubles with Bethanie,heading home to recover.

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