Tuesday’s Set Points, Australian Open 2017 Day 2: Serena starts strong, Lucie saves 9 match points!

Set PointsThe most anticipated match on day 2 of the 2017 Australian Open featured the number two seed, Serena Williams up against Belinda Bencic. While Serena laboured in her first tournament of the year in Auckland, it didn’t come as a surprise to see her produce a vastly improved performance in her first match in Melbourne, winning, 6-4 6-3.

Serena produced a magnificent shot in the first set, which is replayed in the post-match interview below. The American seemed in good spirits.

Serena will play Lucie Safarova in the second round after Lucie saved NINE, yes NINE, match points to beat Yanina Wickmayer, 3-6 7-6(7) 6-1. I still can’t quite get my head around this result for Lucie. While I do feel for Yanina, i’m thrilled for Lucie! This is just what she needed after losing her last six three set matches on tour.

Here’s a video of the nine match points!

And on top of this, Lucie produced an absolutely sensational shot in the third set. I can’t fathom how she got to this after having to change direction.

I’m sad to have missed a lot of the exciting action but did get to watch most of the third match up on the Margaret Court Arena between the number 18 seed, Sam Stosur and Heather Watson where the Brit prevailed in three sets, 6-3 3-6 6-0. Stosur had levelled up at one set all after winning a pivotal six-deuce game at *4-2 in the second set, clinching the game on an ace out wide.

While Watson scored a third set bagel, the scoreline was rather deceptive with four of the games going to deuce. Watson did very well to come out on the winning side of all the lengthy deuce games. The Brit held her first service game, saving one break point with an ace that was originally called out. She then claimed the first break of serve in the third set with the shot of the match, a tremendous on-the-run forehand passing shot winner. It was soooo good but i’m still searching for a replay of this point.

While Stosur had her obvious issues, I was very impressed by Watson who kept a solid level in the decider. Her serve is underrated in my opinion and she found some beautiful angles on her backhand as the forehand held up well. Watson has a great opportunity in this draw as she next plays the world number 116, Jennifer Brady in the second round. For now it’s just a great opportunity and I hope she can knuckle down and take advantage of it.

Stosur was one of just two upsets on day 2 in what was a great day for the seeds. Nicole Gibbs defeated the number 25 seed, Timea Babos to set up an all-American second round match with Falconi. Babos is yet to pick up a singles win in 2017.

CANCEL ALL YOUR PLANS FOR OSTAPOOTS! Thursday’s slate of matches is superb and will include the number 31 seed, Yulia Putintseva take on Jelena Ostapenko. Putintseva saved TEN set points and overcame what appeared to be a leg problem to edge past Lara Arruabarrena in two tiebreak sets, 7-6(7) 7-6(10).

A classic Poots celebration!

Awesome handshake alert… loved this from Naomi Osaka and Luksika Kumkhum

It sounds like Osaka’s press conference was a hoot! She was asked about her obsession with Ana Konjuh’s eyebrows which she tweeted about last week 😂.

Tipping my cap to Anna Blinkova who had a superb three set win over Monica Niculescu. To defeat the tricky Romanian takes a good player with a solid gameplan. One to watch this year and in the future for sure…

Johanna Konta fended off Kirsten Flipkens and a moth to reach the second round where she’ll play Osaka… I WANT TO WATCH THIS MATCH!

It was a great day for my two faves as Timea Bacsinszky battled to a gritty win over Camila Giorgi, 6-4 3-6 7-5. It’s impressive to see the likes of Bacsinszky, Carla Suárez Navarro and Caroline Garcia all win their first matches of the year having not played any warm-up tournaments.

Regular readers of the blog will know i’m a big fan of Timea so naturally, I loved this!

What a stat this is… Mirjana Lucic-Baroni came from a set down to defeat Wang Qiang, 4-6 6-3 6-4 on Tuesday.

And Lucic-Baroni will play Agnieszka Radwanska in a dangerous second round match for the number three seed. Radwanska was pushed to three sets by Tsvetana Pironkova in the last match of the day on the Rod Laver Arena. Aga hit a pretty neat tweener during the match.

Second round matches are on the schedule for Wednesday with Angelique Kerber, Garbiñe Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova all in action. There’s a preview of my match of the day between Zhang Shuai and Alison Riske at the link below.

Two of the most interesting matches on Wednesday feature unseeded players; Shelby Rogers takes on Ashleigh Barty, while Jelena Jankovic plays Julia Goerges. I’m also keeping an eye on Monica Puig’s match against Mona Barthel; the German player has started the year in promising form and even more encouragingly, appears to be healthy. Thoughts on all of Wednesday’s matches are up in the usual place and polls for the matches in question below.

Follow Moo’s Tennis Blog on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

6 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Set Points, Australian Open 2017 Day 2: Serena starts strong, Lucie saves 9 match points!

  1. Naomi Broady lost today against Daria Gav despite serving 19 aces in the match. I don’t think even the Pliskova twins have managed that many in a match yet (this year).

    Also, good win by Heather Watson against Sam Stosur today. Sam is unusual amongst players in that she doesn’t seem to produce her best tennis in front of home crowds; in fact, it’s almost the reverse as according to Wikipedia she’s never been past the third round in Melbourne, whereas she’s won the US Open (in 2011) and reached the semis of the French Open three times, the most recent being last year.

    Like

    • To be fair a lot of female players outside the US, UK, Germany and Czech seem to have trouble on home soil. The French are obviously some of the best (or worst) examples of this.

      Like

  2. Serena looked promising. Not a peak performance but I feel like when she peaks early at Slams she often doesn’t win them. It’s like she needs a good scare in the first three rounds to dominate the second week…
    Despite lucies results of late, I give her a good chance of pushing Serena. She has nothing to lose or prove and that always makes a player dangerous. She still has one of the best forehands in the game and when she’s focused her first serve is lethal.

    I watched Bartys match against Beck and she showed glimpses of real promise but I’m not sure she has it all together just yet. So I’m sticking with Rogers to go through.

    Like

    • Good start for Garcia, I think I read that she wasn’t actually injured during the first two weeks but needed a bit more time off to prepare after last year.

      Like

  3. Serena played well, was she very good – NO! Belinda was very poor! I saw only the first set and Belinda missed easy shots on very very important moments and she looked very uncomfortable, I didnt watch the second set because she wasnt playing well at all.

    Kumkhum Osaka was a very good match, both were hitting the ball really hard.

    Stosur and AO everybody knows what happens to her here so I will leave it there.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s