In one of two all-American second round clashes from the top quarter, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe will battle it out in a sure-to-be compelling clash with the winner on course to play Serena Williams in the third round. Vandeweghe upset Sloane Stephens in the first round with a solid 6-4 6-3 display. It wasn’t a huge shock although I did expect Stephens to come through. The first set went with serve until Stephens threw in a timid game serving at *4-5 with scoreboard pressure. Stephens never really got going and wasn’t able to rely on the coaching timeouts with Nick Saviano to reinforce the positive messages.
Vandeweghe secured her third win in four meetings against Stephens in what was a tough first round draw for both. The big talking point of the match was that Vandeweghe was involved in a mid-match on-court interview with Pam Shriver of ESPN. It certainly came out of the blue…
Mattek-Sands beat the qualifier, Kateryna Kozlova, 6-4 6-3 in 82 minutes. It was a decent win for Beth who had lost her last three singles matches. Kozlova, on the comeback from a six months drugs ban, looked to have been a dangerous opponent after coming through qualifying and flying through her last two matches for the loss of just nine games.
In their only previous match, Vandeweghe defeated Mattek-Sands in San Diego back in 2010, 6-1 4-6 6-3. I think this could be a really fun match and If I was at the US Open, i’d definitely be there! In terms of picking out a winner, I was impressed by CoCo’s focus in the first round and if she can continue to serve effectively, I think she’ll nick the win in three.
Prediction: Vandeweghe d. Mattek-Sands in 3 sets