Two days in and i’m already struggling to keep up with this tennis lark! The first two days have had a flurry of late women’s matches so there has been lots to nervously catch up on in the morning. At first glance, i’m pleased to see the day 3 schedule has more women’s matches in my viewing window. The second day was another largely favourable day for the seeds – 29 of the 32 seeds have survived to round two which feels like something of a record. I also dipped in and out of the first match on Ashe. Andy Murray is such an unbelievable champ as he rallied from two sets down and saved a match point to beat Yoshihito Nishioka in an absolute slugfest. Read on for my thoughts from the matches I watched on day 2.
A big hitting display from AA 🎆
Amanda Anisimova was one of the first winners of the day as she defeated Viktoriya Tomova, 7-5 7-5. Anisimova had too much power for Tomova as she blasted a whopping 41 winners. This was matched though by 37 unforced errors as Anisimova had a few error-strewn spells where she was hitting longgg. Anisimova wasted a 4-1 second set lead but always managed to stay in front in the scoreline. Tomova gave Anisimova some freebies towards the end and Anisimova hit some stunning returns in the final game of the match.
A decent start for Anisimova who I did put in my final 👀. I have no doubt that she has the beating of most players on her day and she’s proven she can do it at the Slams already in her short career. Major concern though whether the consistency is there but remains one to keep an eye on! Anisimova will be the more experienced player in her next match, perhaps the first time that has happened, as she goes up against the 16-year-old, Katrina Scott who won her first Slam main draw match on Tuesday.
Konta prevails in Battle of the Brits 🇬🇧
In a battle of the two highest ranked British women, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson, it was Konta who saved six set points in a titanic opening set before cruising through the second set to win, 7-6(7) 6-1. It was a high quality opener and the pair were serving well, in particular Watson who actually out-aced Konta. I think it was one of the best serving sets i’ve ever seen from Heather!
Konta tailed off and became increasingly passive after she was unable to serve out the first set at *5-4. Watson had her chances at 6-5* and then again in the tiebreak. Konta served a few unreturnables but I thought Watson could have done more on at least two of the six set points. Konta toughed out the tiebreak, sealing it on her first set point.
Konta eased through the second set, unsurprisingly after how the first set ended, dropping just four points on serve. The smile at the end showed Konta’s relief. This was a tricky match-up. Konta’s game continues to thrive on these fast hard courts. It’s going to take some stellar returning to break down that Konta serve.
Kenin in superb form 👍
Sofia Kenin played a great match to beat Yanina Wickmayer, 6-2 6-2 in just over an hour. It was night and day from Kenin’s first showing in Cincy-New York against Alizé Cornet where she hit 53 unforced errors in just two sets. This time round, Kenin posted solid stats of 33 winners to 15 unforced errors. Most impressive of all was Kenin’s serve as she landed 80% of first serves in. She was so quick and dynamic after the first serve, managing to win the majority of points on the next ball.
Kenin’s got a dicey draw with Leylah Fernandez up next, followed by Ons Jabeur or Kaia Kanepi (🔥). Based on this opener, she’s ready for the challenge and not to be discounted.
Venus-Muchova was worth the early wake-up call 😴
I naturally woke up at 5:21am before my alarm like a loser, eager to catch up on the stand-out of the first rounders between Karolina Muchova and Venus Williams. It was worth it! In a decent match, Muchova rallied from 3-5 down in the second set to beat Venus, 6-3 7-5. I was surprised to learn from Rennae Stubbs in the post-match interview that this was Venus’s first ever first round loss at the US Open?!
I thought Muchova did everything a bit better. In the first set, the first shot after the serve felt so key as both were returning fast. I’d tag one of Muchova’s areas for improvement as her return so I was impressed with how many returns she got back into play. The match felt destined for a decider as Venus gained the upper hand in the second set. Muchova found a way back into Venus’s service games and played some delightful tennis to seal the match in straights.
Tough one for Venus. She didn’t play a bad match at all and I think she would have beaten a lot of players with a more favourable draw. Muchova is in my top three of favourite players to watch – just so elegant and classy, and so much variety.
Rooting for Carla ❤
Carla Suárez Navarro announced on Tuesday that she has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Sending lots of positive thoughts to Carla and wishing her a very speedy recovery. The outpouring of messages for Carla on social media shows how loved she is amongst the players and the entire tennis community. Muguruza dedicated her first round win to Carla on Tuesday.
Day 3 watchlist 📺
Naomi Osaka vs. Camila Giorgi: A tough second rounder for Osaka although she said in her press conference that she likes to play fellow big hitters.
Karolina Pliskova vs. Caroline Garcia: Upset alert? Garcia has always played Pliskova well with the pair splitting their six previous meetings. I’d probably still give Pliskova the edge.
Jen Brady vs. Cici Bellis: Bellis back on the comeback and Brady playing the best tennis of her career. Should be a good one.