The second round of the 2018 US Open is in the books as day 4 saw the bottom half of the women’s draw in action. The Louis Armstrong stadium played host to another upset with the top two seeds now both out of the tournament. For thoughts on Friday’s matches, head to the separate page for analysis and polls. Read on for seven stories in Thursday’s Set Points post from the US Open.
First match mayhem!
There were five women’s matches up first with Kerber-Larsson staggered by an hour on Ashe. Furthermore, the four matches that I really wanted to see were up first! I was going to miss the start of all of them anyway so decided to play tennis since it was such a nice day. It was a good session as I got a singles set in with the bro for the first time in months! The result was as you’d expect if you remember all my accounts from Portugal earlier in the year.
Back to Flushing Meadows where Petra Kvitova, Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka all won their matches in straight sets. This means that Kvitova-Sabalenka is all set for Saturday. I was hoping for Osaka vs. Kasatkina but it wasn’t meant to be as Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat Kasatkina in straight sets. A shout out for Sasnovich who is having a great year. Sasnovich-Osaka could be interesting.
In the other early matches, Angelique Kerber and Dominika Cibulkova both came through lengthy three setters – Kerber took a detour from a 6-2 5-2 against Larsson, eventually winning 6-2 5-7 6-4, while Cibulkova needed three hours and 19 minutes (!) to see off Hsieh Su-Wei, 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4. Kerber and Cibulkova will meet in the third round.
Keys off to a good start
Madison Keys is yet to drop a set this week as she comfortably moved into the third round of the US Open with a 6-4 6-1 win over Bernarda Pera. From two break points down at *4-4 *15-40, Keys won eight of the last nine games. I thought Keys was a little passive early on with Pera dictating. Keys found two quality serves down break points at 4-4 and then became increasingly positive as she took control of the match.
Really like Keys’s draw and general chances at this year’s tournament. Next up is Aleksandra Krunic in the third round.
Another three set win for Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko came from a set down and gave it the double fist pumps at the end as she saw off Taylor Townsend, 4-6 6-4 6-3 in an entertaining match. Ostapenko battled her ball toss with 15 double faults but increasingly stepped up the court to dictate the rallies. Townsend will rue a trio of missed returns leading 4-3 with serve in the third set. Credit to Ostapenko who served out the match with a brilliant game as she landed first serves and put the mid-court balls away.
While I was sleeping…
Maria Sharapova beat Sorana Cirstea, 6-2 7-5. Sharapova will now play Ostapenko in the third round 🚨🚨🚨.
Lesia Tsurenko upset the number two seed, Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4 6-2. I thought Woz would win the match but I don’t think it comes as a great surprise considering the lack of matches she had in the lead up and with all the injuries.
Carla Suárez Navarro beat Kristina Mladenovic in three sets. We were just one match away from Mlads vs. Garcia!
US Open press conferences
I found some press conference videos up on the US Open website on their “Videos” page. Overnight they’ve finally started adding them to the Youtube page! Cracking up with Venus’s second round press conference as she repeatedly asked for questions about her match. All the questions about the Cornet incident were OTT, particularly as the situation had been resolved with statements from both the US Open and the WTA.
WTA Insider read
An interesting piece from Reem Abulleil looking at women’s coaches in tennis.
A pair of blockbusters are on the schedule for Friday with Serena vs. Venus and Sloane vs. Vika. Who you got?