Thursday was my tennis club night – sadly, not many left this summer but it was another gorgeous evening. I had absolutely no patience (shattered at the moment) and was just going for my shots 😂. Of the four doubles set I played, I was on the wrong end of a bagel but went two out of two with my bro, who was playing a blinder. My highlight was a wicked forehand passing shot down-the-line. I love that feeling when you hit the ball in the sweet spot of the racquet and you just know immediately you’ve nailed it. It’s rare but it felt amazing!
Unfortunately the schedule for New York wasn’t so great for me with a huge bundle of matches up first while I was playing tennis. Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapenko all advanced to the third round. I was rather shocked to see Pliskova drop the opening set of her second rounder against Nicole Gibbs, but she rallied to win three sets, 2-6 6-3 6-4.
Ostapenko is the only seed remaining in her mini-section, joined by Naomi Osaka, Daria Kasatkina and Kaia Kanepi. Kanepi is mounting yet another comeback after various injuries and health issues.
Naomi Osaka’s press conference – she’s a treat, love her!
In the most baffling of scorelines, Jennifer Brady beat the number 23 seed, Barbora Strycova, 6-1 6-1 in just 56 minutes! Next up for Brady is Monica Niculescu who beat fellow compatriot, Ana Bogdan in three sets. Brady reached the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this year, while Niculescu is bidding to reach the last 16 of a Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2015.
Shelby Rogers recovered from *2-4 *15-40 down in the third set and needed five match points to see off the New Haven champ, Daria Gavrilova, 7-6(6) 4-6 7-6(5). Ultimately, Rogers was rewarded for being the more positive of the pair. Gavrilova picked her targets well but was mostly passive and inconsistent on her forehand side.
Gavrilova had done really well to force a decider – the Aussie player saved a break point at *3-4 in the second set with a second serve ace (!), triggering a run of three straight games. Gavrilova seemed to be edging towards victory, wearing down an increasingly erratic, Rogers. However, the American hit a purple patch as she became very proactive and charged the net with confidence and authority.
Rogers went from 2-4 to 5-4 in the decider and quickly chalked up three match points on Gavrilova’s serve with a 0-40 opening. Gavrilova staved off all three match points, the third on an ace out wide – Gavrilova generally served superbly in the key moments. Rogers backed off at this point but still showed terrific composure to hold her next service game.
Into a third set tiebreak and Rogers was a touch more consistent with Gavrilova’s forehand letting her down. There was a lovely moment as the pair waited at the net with Gavrilova calling on Hawkeye after her groundstroke was called out on match point. It was indeed out and at three hour and 31 minutes, was the longest ever women’s singles match at the US Open!
While I was asleep…
Another top eight seed went out as Kurumi Nara beat Svetlana Kuznetsova.
This result was perhaps not such a surprise as Kuznetsova had required a medical time-out in her first round match for a wrist injury. It doesn’t sound so good.
Come on, Lucie!
A 6-1 3-6 6-2 win over Nao Hibino and into the third round of the US Open, her best Slam performance in singles of 2017.
Madison Keys, Agnieszka Radwanska, CoCo Vandeweghe, Elena Vesnina and Zhang Shuai all advanced to the third round with straight set wins. After the madness of Wednesday, Thursday was a mostly routine day.
Third round action is up on Friday and I can’t wait. This week has been nuts so i’m looking forward to focusing on tennis for a few days. For once, I am really happy with the schedule and my favourite match of the day, Barty-Stephens, is up 2nd on Louis Armstrong – perfect timing for me. Polls for my top three below. Who you got?
And finally, delighted to share a new guest post on the blog! Thanks to Dan for writing about his day at the US Open on Monday and for sharing lots of great photos! Well worth a read…