Coco Vandeweghe def Agnieszka Radwanska 75 46 64
Saturday’s second 3rd-Rounder featured the best tennis we’ve seen this year in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Both Radwanska and Vandeweghe painted lines with high-risk rips, crafting points into clear winners. Sure, there were 11 breaks of serve, but don’t let that fool you. There was nothing sloppy about this battle…until exhaustion creeped-in during the third. Coco and Agnieszka’s combined court coverage was extraordinary. Defense? Nearly impenetrable. Shot making? Opportunistic. Exquisite.
Coco simply went to work. She wasn’t interested in exploring Radwanska’s estensive bag of tricks. She knew at ball-up, she’d have to overpower the Ninja. She had to take away Radwanska’s magic wand, embrace risk and hit her spots. While that game-plan led to 54 unforced errors, several frustration-fueled racquet tosses and a code violation; after 2-hours and 56-minutes on court, Vandeweghe advanced to the Round of 16.
The three defining games
- Set-1. Coco Vandeweghe serving for the set, up 5-4. It was a 12-minute game. Coco fell behind 15-40, erased the break points, then squandered three set-points before Radwanska won the game with break point #4. Pissed at herself, Coco slammed her racquet on the court, dusted it off – then broke right back and won the set on her serve.
- Set-2. Coco Vandeweghe serving to stay in the set, down 4-5. Coco was cruising, up 40-15. Out of nowhere, she got the yips, threw down a pair of double faults; then gave up the ad and the set. Ridiculous. But, instead of succumbing to the brain hemorrhage, she launched into the decider with her fourth break of the match.
- Set-3. At 3-all, Coco delivered her 6th and final break of the match. Drained, neither could hold. Radwanska had just broken Vandeweghe to level the set. This time, Coco’s racquet smash earned her a code violation. She grabbed a new stick and got right back to work. Eight minutes and four deuce-points later, she won it on her third game point. Radwanska missed on two break chances, and it cost her the match. Vandeweghe would hold the rest of the way to secure the win.
Radwanska is an epic shot-maker and stellar defender. This was a huge win for Vandeweghe. As her coach Pat Cash tweeted, she was tough as old nails on Saturday. But the tests keep coming…she’ll face Lucie Safarova next, who took-out Coco earlier this year in the 2nd-Round at Indian Wells. They’ve played four times. Vandeweghe has only won once (2015 Wimbledon’s Round of 16), and it took two tie-break sets to do it.