Tuesday was a jam-packed day of tennis with 15 singles matches and a mix of first and second round encounters. Firstly, i’m thrilled to be working with a photographer in Cincy this week, Omar Boraby. Thanks to Omar for sharing his photos, which you’ll see during this post and through others during the week. Stay tuned for a new post coming soon with more of Omar’s great shots from Tuesday’s order of play in Cincy. You can check out Omar’s official website HERE and his Twitter page HERE.
The first winner of the day was Ashleigh Barty who came from a break down in the first set to record her 32nd win of the year over Varvara Lepchenko, 6-4 6-4. She was joined in the second round by Natalia Vikhlyantseva who beat Donna Vekic, 6-3 2-6 6-3. Vekic had strapping on both her leg and shoulder but gave it some welly and battled hard. Vikhlyantseva secured the vital hold of serve to consolidate a break at 4-3 in the third set, surviving two break points in a five deuce game.
Dominika Cibulkova scored her first top 20 win since January by beating Ana Konjuh, 5-7 7-5 6-2. Cibulkova came back from a set down and then saved break points at 4-4 and 5-5 in the second set to level up at one set all before easing through the decider. While a good win for Cibulkova, no doubt a confidence-booster, Konjuh became increasingly error-strewn and ended the match with a whopping 71 (!) unforced errors.
At one point during Tuesday afternoon there were six women’s matches going on at one time – therefore, a lot of flicking between matches! Venus Williams dropped just two games in a superb display on Center Court to beat Alison Riske. Venus is now 3-0 in the head-to-head and has yet to drop a set in this match-up.
Aleksandra Krunic knocked out the number 12 seed, Jelena Ostapenko, 6-4 6-2. Ostapenko seemed to be struggling with the conditions and was, as you’d expect with this scoreline, making a lot of unforced errors. This was Krunic’s best win since beating Petra Kvitova at the US Open in 2014.
Snapping a six match losing streak and winning her first match since Roland Garros, Alizé Cornet produced a fantastic display to turn the tables on a recent loss to CiCi Bellis in Stanford, prevailing 7-6(5) 3-6 6-2 win. The first set was the best i’ve seen so far in Cincy with many well-contested rallies. Cornet was surprisingly solid and terrific in defence as Bellis eventually ran out of steam, missing forehands and key returns.
Julia Goerges maintained her excellent recent form with a 6-4 6-4 success over the number 10 seed, Agnieszka Radwanska. Goerges saved eight (!) break points serving at *2-3 and *3-4 in the second set – while the German player produced some quality serves, Radwanska missed a lot of opportunities with her return of serve. After the hold to 4-4, Goerges upped the ante and finished with a flurry of winners, serving out the match in style with a love hold.
From a set down, Anastasija Sevastova held off a brave effort from Peng Shuai, 3-6 6-4 6-2. Peng had her knee heavily strapped and was not moving so well at the end of the match.
One of my gripes is when second round matches are played before first round matches and this happened on Tuesday afternoon as Simona Halep and Johanna Konta both advanced to the third round.
Halep recovered from a 2-4 first set deficit to see off Taylor Townsend, 6-4 6-1. It was a slow start from Halep against a dangerous opponent – I love watching Townsend play! Halep eventually settled to put the Toronto semi-final loss to Elina Svitolina behind her with a good win.
Konta also reset after missing match points against Ekaterina Makarova last week in Toronto – the Brit was mostly clutch in a 6-3 6-3 win over Kiki Bertens.
While I was asleep…
Elena Vesnina had a great win over Caroline Garcia, 4-6 6-4 6-4. I was a little surprised to wake up to this result having watched the first set where Garcia had looked in fine form and was hitting her forehand beautifully.
Francoise Abanda has won 13 of her last 17 matches and is into the second round of Cincy after a come-from-behind win over Magda Linette, 3-6 6-4 6-2.
Ekaterina Makarova set up an enticing second round match with Angelique Kerber – Makarova’s good form continued with a 6-4 6-1 win over Barbora Strycova.
I’m sad to see Lucie Safarova go out at the first hurdle and need some treatment on her leg in the second set. All the credit again to Sloane Stephens who beat Safarova for the second time in five days, 6-4 7-6(5).
In the late night match in Cincy, Garbiñe Muguruza got off to a fine start with a 6-2 6-0 win over the qualifier, Beatriz Haddad Maia.
A pair of snap previews for Cibulkova vs. Cornet (3rd up on Court 4) and Gavrilova vs. Giorgi (1st up on Court 11) are up on the blog.
Excited for the women’s match on Wednesday’s Center Court day session between Venus Williams and Ash Barty – who you got?
Loved the latest episode of The Body Serve podcast which featured quotes from Garbiñe Muguruza, Johanna Konta and Svetlana Kuznetsova during All-Access Hour – all seemed in really good form!
I was interested to hear Muguruza bring up the comment she had apparently made last year about no-one liking each other on tour. I had always wondered where that had come from and whether the quotes had been taken out of context. It sounds as if this was indeed the case.
The wild cards for the US Open have been announced…
The first two doubles pairs have been confirmed for Singapore – Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina and Martina Hings and Chan Yung-Jan. I’m guessing that the singles race is once again going to go down to the wire with no-one yet confirmed for the 2017 WTA Finals.
And finally, Charleston has already announced two players for their 2018 tournament. Keys joins Kvitova on the list – count me in!