Wednesday’s Set Points, US Open Day 3: Eighth time’s the charm for Makarova, Sharapova advances

Set PointsWednesday was an absolutely bonkers day of tennis – first and second round matches were on the schedule after the rain on Tuesday. I can’t even come close to covering all the results having been out on Wednesday and most of the second round matches starting while I was asleep – therefore, this is the snappiest of Set Points post for the matches I was able to watch!

Before I went out, I caught some of the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium where Evgeniya Rodina beat Eugenie Bouchard, 7-6(2) 6-1. It was an absolute shocker from Bouchard who committed a ton of errors in the first set tiebreak and went away fast in the second set. I still can’t get over the court placement for this match. A good win for Rodina, just her fifth at the WTA main draw level in 2017, and she will play on Ashe for a second straight day when she takes on Elina Svitolina on Thursday!

The number eight seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova survived the cull of top seeds, beating Marketa Vondrousova, 4-6 6-4 7-6(2) out on Grandstand. I love Vondrousova’s groundstrokes – however she was clearly struggling at the end, holding her leg, and offered up a stream of unforced errors in the deciding set tiebreak.

This one hurts💔😭 #usopen

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I was back in time for the final match of the day session on Ashe with Maria Sharapova up against Timea Babos. I expected a bit of a mess and although it matched my expectations in part, it was entertaining and kept me awake longer than I had planned! Babos twice failed to serve out the opener, but got it done on the tiebreak, showing a lot of heart against a not-so-sharp, Sharapova.

Sharapova didn’t look all that comfortable – while mistiming many of her strokes, her spirit on court never ceases to shine. The Russian player held her ground, saving two break points in a five deuce game at 2-3 down in the second set. Sharapova would go onto win 10 of the last 12 games to book her place in the third round with a 6-7(4) 6-4 6-1 win. In the third round, Sharapova will play another wildcard in the American, Sofia Kenin.

The number 10 seed, Agnieszka Radwanska enjoyed a decent win over Petra Martic, 6-4 7-6(3). The Croatian player rallied in both sets from deficits, yet Radwanska came through in the end, producing a magnificent passing shot winner on match point.

🌸🌺 power! @ARadwanska meets Putintseva next in #USOpen Round Two!

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I watched the final game of CoCo Vandeweghe’s 2-6 6-3 6-4 win over Alison Riske. Dare I say that I have warmed a smidgen to Vandeweghe in the last few months. Her celebration though was typically CoCo, but a nice hug at the net with Alison. All in all, a solid win from a set down. CoCo plays Ons Jabeur in the second round in the night match on Ashe on Thursday which could be a flashy one!

Second round bound 💪🏻🎾 @usopen #NELY #TeamEBIX #TeamYonex #TeamAsics #TeamMasimo

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My body clock is a hoot at the moment so I naturally woke up at 4:30am 😂. I couldn’t help check the scores and pull up a stream for the conclusion of the second round match between Caroline Wozniacki and Ekaterina Makarova. Snapping a seven match losing streak against the Dane, Makarova produced an outstanding level in the decider to win, 6-2 6-7(5) 6-1. Makarova had previously failed to serve out the second set but it didn’t matter – her level at the end was sky high and Wozniacki had no answers whatsoever. One to watch in this form. Next up is Carla Suárez Navarro.

Both were on unstreamed courts and both lost their opening sets – i’m thrilled that Lucie and Dasha won in three! Safarova beat the number 26 seed, Anett Kontaveit, 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 and Kasatkina defeated Wang Qiang, 6-7(9) 6-2 6-3.

This made me laugh, mainly because Taylor was laughing! The American went out in three sets to Ana Bogdan.

And finally, the third round matches for the bottom half are set. A lot of upsets so far with only seven of the 16 seeds remaining but plenty of intrigue in all of these matches.

Ekaterina Makarova vs. Carla Suárez Navarro

Maria Sakkari vs. (9) Venus Williams

(13) Petra Kvitova vs. (18) Caroline Garcia

(31) Magdalena Rybarikova vs. (3) Garbiñe Muguruza

Aleksandra Krunic vs. (30) Julia Goerges

Ash Barty vs. Sloane Stephens

(16) Anastasija Sevastova vs. Donna Vekic

Sofia Kenin vs. Maria Sharapova

My top three in order of interest – Barty-Stephens, Kvitova-Garcia and Goerges-Krunic. All to enjoy on Friday when the week will finally be over.

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17 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Set Points, US Open Day 3: Eighth time’s the charm for Makarova, Sharapova advances

  1. Good win for Lucie! Kontaveit’s a dangerous opponent.

    Another one of my picks bites the dust in the first round – I had Caro Wozniacki making the final this year 🙂 It’s been a topsy-turvy draw this year though, with a lot of good players being drawn against each other early on.

    Nastia Pavlyuchenkova lost to Christina McHale too; good win for Christina, but sad for Pavs who doesn’t seem to play her best in slams. She went out in the first round in Wimbledon too.

    Fun fact, Andrew will like this one; if Sveta wins the US Open again (a big ask after 13 years, I know), she gets the No 1 spot and for the first time.

    Liked by 1 person

      • “Must say Makarova was stunning in that final set.”

        Didn’t see it James, but I can believe it; Kate’s playing well at the moment. The one prediction I’ve got right so far was one I wish I hadn’t – Maria to beat Simona in the first round. I thought a 6-0 record would be a lot to overturn, and I was right.

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    • Good players playing other good player in the first two rounds of the Grand Slams is unfair. There is too much at stake for the top players to have a draw system that is so much based on luck. The GS draw format should not be unfair. Half the field (64) should be seeded.

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      • If you are a good enough player you should be able to win, no matter the ranking of the person across the net. I think having these upsets and close matches in the early rounds makes the tournament more interesting. I remember the days when seeded players would win love-love against qualifiers and wild cards. It was boring to watch. I’m thrilled with the quality of the matches so far. It’s been such fun.

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    • If I recall correctly, at this point, so long as Muguruza makes the semifinal, only Svitolina or Pliskova can snatch the number one ranking from her with a win. Svetlana should keep her fingers crossed as she makes her way.

      The Odds are currently all in Garbine’s favour. Maybe a Venus or Maria or Petra, or Garcia or someone can stall her march for now, who knows!

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      • Let’splay; thanks for the clarification re Sveta; she’s one of the players I’d most like to see win the whole thing. Had to laugh about what she said about her opponent (Marketa Vondrousova)’s cramps in her last match; “I felt sorry for her until I remembered that she’s 18 and I’m 32 …”.

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      • Yeah it’ll be a sad day for women’s tennis when Sveta retires. Even discounting her being probably the most talented and naturally gifted player, she just has such a wonderful personality.

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  2. I know there are lots of Petra fans here (myself included) but I’d LOVE to see Garcia win and make the second week. The way she’s turned round this year has been pretty amazing. I’m desperate to see her finish the year ranked above Mladenobitch.

    Bit torn on Barty vs Sloane. I’d love either to make a deep run.

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    • I’d love to see Petra win, but happy either way really. Really pleased for Caroline after a tough start to the year with injury and all the off court drama. I’m definitely leaning towards Ash in the latter in terms of who i’d like to see win!

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    • Mladenobitch lol. It reminds me of those columns you get in Private Eye where they parody celebrity columnists, like “Glenda Slagg.” I can imagine a Private Eye column called “Kiki Mladenobitch – she tells it like it is!” dishing the dirt on her fellow players.

      I’ve seen people tweeting photos on Twitter where she’s posed for selfies with them, even after she’s just lost, so she definitely has a nice streak; it’s cool that she’s friends with Belinda too.

      The trouble is that reputations once earned – and she does now have a reputation for bad-mouthing her fellow players to the media, like querying Timi Bacs’s bathroom breaks – take a long time to live down.

      CoCo Vandey’s behaving a lot better these days (I’m guessing that Pat Cash has made it clear to her that he won’t stand for the nonsense on court that Craig did), but she’s still known for her on court petulance and racket-smashing, just as Aga’s still known for her drive-by handshakes even though she’s usually pretty polite nowadays.

      Barty vs Sloane – hard to bet against Sloane, she’s on such a roll right now and playing in front of a home crowd too. I think she could go a long way in this tournament, maybe even to the final if she keeps it up. Still think Karolina will win in the end though; as someone said in the Guardian it’s as though she’s been saving herself for this one as her best chance of a slam this year.

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      • Well it isn’t exactly rumor that Mladenovic isn’t a nice girl, it’s based on things she’s actually said and behavior that she’s shown this year.
        And I’m hardly surprised that she’s bff’s with Bencic, who I’ve always felt comes across like a bit of a spoiled mean girl herself.

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  3. Hibino d Bellis—- 6-3,4-6,7-5 The match was very close and the stats very even, but Bellis 44 UFE were way to many for her type of game to win. One thing I thought was a little odd, in the first set during change over, Bellis was smiling and laughing apparently at her team—–and she was losing!

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  4. Oh and I totally forgot to gush about Svitolina surviving that match! She was really impressive in the first set (aided by Siniakova being pretty bad). I saw more than a bit of the calm, confident swagger that Henin used to bring to a court, where her winning was like a foregone conclusion. I thought that it was just bad luck that the match was suspended during the tiebreaker, because I reckon it’d have been a straight sets win had it not gotten interrupted. So it was mighty impressive that she came back from 0-2 down in the decider… would’ve been super easy to breakdown completely like she did at French.

    It’s the kind of match that could really up her level of intensity and make a deep run from.

    Like

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