Tuesday’s Set Points, US Open 2018 Day 2: Ostapenko’s first win since Wimbledon

Day 2 of the US Open was a hot one. Aside from the big glaring upset of the number one seed, the first two days of the 2018 US Open have been relatively drama-free in terms of upsets. I won’t have time to do any more preview posts for the rest of the week so head over to the separate match analyses page for quick thoughts on Wednesday’s matches. Read on for 8 stories in Tuesday’s Set Points post.

Solid start for Osaka

I got home from work in time to watch Naomi Osaka serve out her first win since Washington, beating Laura Siegemund, 6-3 6-2. After her first round loss in Cincy, Osaka posted on social media about struggling to deal with the pressure and expectation after her title in Indian Wells. While Siegemund is not quite as devilish to play on the hard courts compared to the clay, she is still a dangerous opponent with two previous wins over Osaka.

Hopefully Osaka has turned a corner from how she felt during the summer. I wasn’t too concerned about Osaka’s pre-US Open form as she always seems to get up for the Slams. Next up for Osaka is Julia Glushko in the second round.

Ostapenko’s first win since Wimbledon

Jelena Ostapenko won her first match since Wimbledon, holding off a late charge from Andrea Petkovic to prevail 6-4 4-6 7-5 in two hours and 18 minutes. The final 20 minutes of this match were fantastic with some really great rallies. Considering the conditions, it was admirable from both players and their exchange at the net was lovely. Without doubt, Petkovic is the most gracious player in defeat on tour.

Ostapenko had plenty of leads in this match, wasting breaks in the second and third sets. Ostapenko was a set and a break up before Petkovic rallied to force a decider. Ostapenko then led 5-2 in the decider and had two match points at *5-3. Petkovic produced some gutsy defence to save the first and then got a slice of luck on the second with her groundstroke clipping the net but landing in. Ostapenko then netted, surely put off by wondering whether the ball was going to land in!

It was then Ostapenko’s turn to show nerves of steel as she saved two break points at 5-5 with some terrific shotmaking. I was impressed with both players towards the end of the match – Ostapenko showed a tad more patience in the rallies, while Petkovic maintained a great depth and found a first serve when it mattered. Ostapenko held at 5-5 in what proved to be the pivotal game as she then broke for the win.

I was shaking my head at Ostapenko at the end of the second set as she was so, so erratic. By the end of the third set, I was actually quite impressed with how she stayed in the moment, particularly in the game at 5-5 in the third set. This was a huge win for Ostapenko and could set her up nicely for the tournament.

One easy, one tight for Bertens

Kiki Bertens extended her winning streak to seven, easing through the opener before encountering second set resistance against Kristyna Pliskova in a 6-0 7-5 victory. Bertens won the first nine games in super quick time before Pliskova got on the board and found her serve. Things got a little dicey for Bertens as she was suddenly involved in a contest. Bertens stayed ahead on serve and then pounced at the end with Pliskova serving up two double faults in a row to open what would be the final game of the match. A good, solid start for Bertens.

Kerber fends off stern Gasparyan challenge

In her first victory at the US Open since winning the title in 2016, Angelique Kerber was pushed hard by Margarita Gasparyan but came through in straight sets, 7-6(5) 6-3. My overwhelming thought from the match – how GOOD is it to see Gasparyan back on the big stage?! Her backhand is just glorious.

Kerber missed three set points at *5-4 in the first set as an inspired Gasparyan fought back and launched into an early lead in the ensuing first set tiebreak. The pair fought out some gruelling rallies with Gasparyan pitching it perfectly with patience and precision. The first set tiebreak was high quality tennis and Kerber did extremely well to edge it. The second set wasn’t entirely straightforward. After an exchange of breaks it went with serve until Kerber made the breakthrough at 4-3 and then served out to 15.

Kerber killing it on social media

Loving all these shots of Angie in New York!

Garcia eases past Konta

While it looked to be one of the matches of the day on paper, the first rounder between Caroline Garcia and Johanna Konta was not much of a contest as Garcia won, 6-2 6-2 in just 75 minutes. I was in and out of this match (BAKE OFF!) but it seemed that Garcia was just too good for Konta and simply outplayed the Brit for most of the match. In a serving masterclass, Garcia hit seven aces and didn’t face any break points. Watch out for CarGar on this performance. Not an easy second rounder though against Monica Puig who double bagelled Stefanie Voegele in the first round!

While I was sleeping…

Madison Keys and Maria Sharapova both won in straight sets with the latter fighting past Patty Schnyder, 6-2 7-6(6).

I saw Daria Kasatkina win the first set before calling it night. The Russian player needed three sets to get past Timea Babos, coming from a break down in the third set to win, 6-4 5-7 6-4.

The most surprising result overnight IMO was Katerina Siniakova’s 6-7(3) 6-3 7-5 win over the number 28 seed, Anett Kontaveit.

Wednesday’s preview and polls

A quartet of polls for my top four matches on Wednesday. Sad that Lucie-Ash is late.

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21 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Set Points, US Open 2018 Day 2: Ostapenko’s first win since Wimbledon

  1. Sharapova def Schnyder 6-2,7-6
    What a great way for Patty Schnyder to, in effect, end her career, at night at the USO on the big stage in the big show.
    The near 40 y/o will probably play in some more ITF events, but the USO was, in effect, the end. She probably continues to play tournaments simply because she enjoys it.

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  2. Cornet changing her top on the court was a little strange.
    She put her top on backwards, with the logo on the back instead of the front. Apparently the chair mentioned it, so Cornet pulled her top off on the court and reversed it. The chair then gave her a warning for changing her top on the court. Cornet had a large sports bra on, so it was no big deal.

    In Cincinnati, Halep went off the court to change her top, and a woman official went with her to hold up a towel for privacy. A tv camera (WTA?) mounted high zoomed in on the hole affair. Fortunately Halep was wearing the same type large sports bra that Cornet wears. In the tv business, sex sells.

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  3. Sabalinka def Collins 6-0,4-6,6-4
    I didn’t see the 1st set, but the 2nd and 3rd set were very closely contested. Both players are erratic big hitters so the match advantage went back and forth. Each player hit about 25 winners and 32 UFEs. Collins lost her final 4 service games after being up a break in the 3rd.
    The match was played on an outside court and the court was packed – SRO.

    Pera Def Putintseva 7-6,6-4
    Pera and Poots are basically two clay courters playing on a hard court. The two players averaged 3 winners and 5 UFE for the match, far different than the Sab/Collins match. There was 11 breaks of serve in the match, which was very close to the end.
    The match was played on an outside court with about 50 fans scattered around.

    Moo, you might check the chrome app – SportZone – which might have more court coverage. I think on all the matches I’ve watched on SportZone at the USO there are no announcers, only the ball striking and the chair announcing the score and the crowd noise,,,,, which I like.
    The major problem with SZ is the freezing of the video while they update the betting numbers. Sometimes they freeze the video at a very critical time,,,,, but it’s free.

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    • Thanks for the info, ziggy. I was trying to watch the last game of SabaCollins but I was destroying my internet with other streams so it cut out.

      Thanks for the tip on streaming. I’m using Bet365 to stream outside courts but quality is poor and unstable. Just about getting by! Will be easier come Friday.

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  4. I’m picking both Williams to come through today. The rest, Gorges and Barty. Odds are with Azarenka, but Gravilova seemed ‘spritely’ in the first round. If she can be patient with Vika, it is doable.

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    • Yeah I’ve gone for Gavrilova over Azarenka. I feel like Vika will find it hard being on the front foot, where she feels comfortable, because Dasha keeps the ball fairly deep. It will come down to who puts the most pressure on the serve though. They have two of the weaker second serves on the tour and two of the most aggressive returns…

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  5. I am not able to watch any of the U S Open which tends to lessen my interest and enjoyment in the event. Glad to learn that Ostapenko and Kasatkina both got through to the next round. The situation with Cornet seems crazy especialy as she had a sports bra on. I have read that WTA rules state female players are not permitted to change their clothing on court ( strictly speaking she was not changing it though ) and instead must do it in a dressing room.The WTA need to alter the rules to allow for some common sense.

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    • Peter, if you decide you want to watch, it’s £5.99 a month for Amazon Prime. Or if you haven’t ever joined, you might be able to get a free trial for a month! The coverage from Friday will be fine as most of the matches should be covered by their streams.

      Glad to hear the Cornet situation has been addressed.

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      • Thanks James for advising me about the Amazon Prime. I’ve had a free trial with them previously but they often offer me another one ( for 7 days only ) so I’ll see which players are still in the U S Open next Monday and then decide. If some of my favs still have a chance of winning then I’l probably use it.

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  6. Oh boy, Domi’s playing Hseih Su-Wei right now, the Taiwanese player against whom she had that controversial point at Wimbledon this year. Will Hseih be out for revenge? We shall see ..

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