Thursday’s Set Points, US Open 2018 Day 4: Keys & Ostapenko through to R3

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.

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Good day at the office today ☺️

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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.

Friday’s schedule

A pair of blockbusters are on the schedule for Friday with Serena vs. Venus and Sloane vs. Vika. Who you got?

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20 thoughts on “Thursday’s Set Points, US Open 2018 Day 4: Keys & Ostapenko through to R3

  1. The ITF says it wants more contested matches in the early rounds of the Grand Slams, so the 16 seeded draw is in for next year.
    Hey —- Halep and Woz the top two seeds out by the 3rd round in the 32 seeded draw.
    Hopefully the ITF will open a window and smell reality.

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    • The tournament has been quite tame so far. Today we get some meatier matches. Halep going out, the fans will certainly be disappointed. However, it wasn’t because of poor performance from her but a formidable display from an inspired opponent. Caroline, I’ve had my doubts from the very start about how fit she was coming in. No surprise for me on that.

      Let’s give the seedings a chance, if it turns out to be a nutter, I’ll be first to start a signed petition for a change.

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  2. Tsurenko def Wozniacki 6-4,6-2
    Woz had 6 winners and 35 UFEs. Woz couldn’t hit the ball past Tsurenko appeared to get frustrated and went for to much, which resulted in errors.
    Stats from USO IBM match stats.

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    • Tsurenko has beaten a fair few top players in the past, so it’s not the biggest of shocks. I thought Wozniacki was rather passive against Stosur if I’m honest. I wondered how long the “New and improved” aggressive play would last before she went back to old ways.

      Stoked to see Garcia come through another high quality battle against Monica Puig. She saved 6 break points at 44 in the decider to break herself in the following game. I hope she keeps up this level and goes deep.

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      • I would guess the passiveness for Wozniacki is down to playing so few matches over the summer. I think if she’s confident then is more willing to play aggressive. Even including Australia, I don’t feel Wozniacki has come anywhere close to the level she produced in Singapore and at the back end of 2017. I was following the Garcia-Puig match on live scores, crazy final few games! Quite like Garcia’s draw to the QFs.

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      • My question is, is Wozniacki fully fit or is she masking her fitness to get through? Trying to play herself into form seeing as she likes the tournament.

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  3. I’m interested in the Barty/Muchova and Ka Plis/Kenin matches to see whether Muchova and Kenin are the real deal or just flashes in the pan.

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      • Yep — not expecting either to win, but I am interested to see whether they can play a quality match against top level opponents, or get blown off the court.

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      • That will be interesting for sure. I’m hoping Barty-Muchova won’t be too late! Also hoping Ash is going to come through this section and reach the QFs.

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  4. What did u think of the Larsson-Kerber match?

    Personally surprised with how well Larsson played, just to many UE! Wondering how much this will effect her confidence after coming so close to winning as well as coming back from 6-2 5-2, as she hasn’t had the best of summers.

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    • I didn’t get to see the Kerber-Larsson match so cannot really comment. More concerned by how much it will have taken out of Kerber physically? She’s played a lot of tennis this year. I think it was probably favourable for her not to have had a heavy summer.

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    • Serena has looked pretty phenomenal thus far. Can’t believe how calm and confident she seems to be! I would love to see her winning the title. It’s just concerning how the past couple of years she’s really let the pressure crack her at the end of a Slam (Wimbledon 18 and Aus 16 against Kerber, US 15 against Vinci, US 16 against Pliskova), because she had been so impressive in those tournaments up until those defeats…

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    • Considering her drive and using Sharapova as a template, some think she lets some opponents win by not raising her effort. But she’s said time and again that she bears no ill will or malice towards her. Serena is such a mentally driven player, I feel for a subconscious reason or another, she doesn’t let herself be beaten by Maria.
      To be honest, she’s human. Sometimes her play is unsettled by someone’s variety, or she can’t get her mental focus going. A surprising number of girls also see her as the yardstick. Being able to raise your game to beat Serena is probably up there with winning the title. Even her friendships with some players like Woz, Vika, Kerber benefit them in game more than it does her I think. The USOpen loss to Vinci was one I felt was telegraphed. I remember the media circus and pressure stateside was palpable with every match. It was just a matter of time when something was going to give. That being said, I do like her chances here, there is still some work to do.

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      • Yeah the pressure for her to do the calender Slam was just immense! I wasn’t alive, but I’m guessing it wasn’t nearly as tough for Steffi. The losses to Kerber in Australia and Pliskova here in 2016 were more surprising, for me. She had been SO good in those events and although Angie and Karolina played superb matches, you could just see how nervous and uncomfortable Serena was.

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