Rain dominated the day at the Western and Southern Open on Friday. At the very least they needed to get through the second round matches which they managed to do that. Three third round matches are still be to completed on Friday, as well as the quarter-finals. There is more rain on the forecast for the next two days so it will be an interesting end to the tournament. Read on for 9 stories in Thursday’s Set Points post from Cincy.
Halep closes out Tomljanovic
Resuming on Thursday afternoon leading 4-3* 30-15* in the third set, Halep showed her experience to win six of the last eight points to seal the win over Ajla Tomljanovic, 4-6 6-3 6-3. Halep got the break with a passing shot winner and then prevailed in an extended rally where she never looked like missing, eventually injecting pace to win the point and the game. There was only a very small window of play before the rain came so Halep did very well to get on and off the court with the minimum amount of fuss.
Keys’s first win over Kerber on hard court
Madison Keys scored a stunning win over Angelique Kerber, snapping a run of five straight losses and coming from a set and a break down to win, 2-6 7-6(3) 6-4. Kerber has dominated this head-to-head and looked in her comfort zone in the first set as she directed balls to the Keys backhand. Kerber was supremely solid, while Keys was simply made too many unforced errors.
A gutsy Keys tidied up her game in the second set and kept the scoreline close. Keys’s winner count kept on rising as an increasingly frustrated Kerber retreated behind the baseline. Keys missed two set points with missed returns and impatience in the rallies, but took her opportunities in the second set tiebreak as Kerber became a tad error-strewn..
Keys dropped just five points in the decider to seal her best win of the year by ranking.
Sabalenka does it again!
What a stat this is… Aryna Sabalenka has now saved match points in three matches in the last WEEK to record a trio of top ten wins. On Thursday, Sabalenka saved the lone match point in a 6-4 3-6 7-5 victory over Caroline Garcia. Sabalenka must be feeling very confident right now. Next up is a first meeting with Keys. Excited about that one!
While I was sleeping…
Elise Mertens saved set points in the first set and eased through the second to score a big win, her eighth and best by ranking during the summer hard court season, over Sloane Stephens, 7-6(8) 6-2.
Kiki Bertens leads Anett Kontaveit, 6-3 1-4 with the pair to resume second on on Friday.
There was more rain so Halep-Barty and Svitolina-Anisimova both roll over to Friday.
Photos from Cincy
For a full album of photos by Omar Boraby from Wednesday in Cincy, check out the MTB Facebook page.
New Haven wild cards
A fantastic field is heading to New Haven next week with Karolina Pliskova and CoCo Vandeweghe accepting wild cards. I am excited to see Timea Bacsinszky back in action at a WTA level tournament!
Naomi gave an update on Twitter where she said that she had been feeling the pressure heading into the summer hard court season . Glad to hear it sounds like Naomi has turned a corner! 🙂
Louis Armstrong Stadium
The new Louis Armstrong stadium is finished and looks mighty fine!
It’s another jumbled schedule with third round matches and quarter-finals up on Friday. If Halep were to beat Barty she would then play her quarter-final on Stadium 3. I would guess from this that the schedulers think that she will withdraw. Polls for the two confirmed quarter-finals which are both very intriguing!