2015 US Open – Day 2

Day-2 Eye Openers:

  • Roger freakin’ Federer (see below)
  • Highly entertaining Andrea Petkovic won a thriller over tough first-round draw Caroline Garcia of France 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
  • Down two sets, American Donald Young battled back to defeat World #11 Gilles Simon
  • American Austin Krajicek made it to the second round of the US Open for the first time in his career with a monster effort over Columbia’s Santiago Giraldo 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(6), 7-6(1)
  • Lesia Tsurenko scored another huge career upset, easily dispatching Lucie Safarova in straight sets. Lucie reached the Connecticut Open Final last week, won Doha in February, and reached her first Grand Slam Singles Final at Roland Garros in June. After playing thorugh qualifying, Tsurenko upended Eugenie Bouchard last March at Indian Wells. Over the past month, she won the title in Istanbul and played through qualifying to reach the Quarters in Toronto and the Semifinals in New Haven (where she lost to Safarova).

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A conversation with Lesia Tsurenko after upsetting Bouchard in Indian Wells.

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Round-1 here in Arthur Ashe Stadium:

[2] Simona Halep (ROM) def. Marina Erakovic (NZL) – New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic will finish 2015 without reaching the second round of a Grand Slam. Last year, she managed a second round run at the US Open…but the draw proved menacing this year in Flushing, delivering world #2 Simona Halep up first. With three titles in 2015 alone, Marina knew it was a big ask to take-down the Romanian. 11-games and two visits from the trainer, the Kiwi finally called it quits advancing Halep to Round-2 – 6-2, 3-0 (ret). Next up, Halep will face Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko, who defeated Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in straight sets.

[4] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) def. New York’s Jamie Loeb (USA) – There’s no doubt UNC’s Jamie Loeb has the weapons to compete at the top-level. This year she delivered Chapel Hill its first tennis singles title in the school’s storied sports history. Today, she earned valuable experience playing a veteran on the sport’s biggest professional stage. Caroline Wozniacki has reached the US Open Final twice before, and this afternoon enjoyed a comfortable tune-up under Arthur Ashe Stadium’s new partially-completed retractable roof. Caro’s confidence grew through the course of the 65-minute match, as she dissected Loeb’s game with deeply placed ground strokes and targeted serves. In the end, Jamie managed to pick up 2-games off the Dane who spent 67-weeks as the #1 player in the world between 2010 and 2012. Final: Wozniacki 6-2, 6-0. Next up for Caroline – a “dangerous when healthy” Petra Cetkovska, who defeated American Christina McHale in three sets today. I’ve seen Cetkovska defeat big names before, including Na Li in Doha two years ago.

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) def. Leonardo Mayer (ARG) – From serve and volley to the return-of-serve service-line charge, watching Roger Federer overwhelm Leonardo Mayer was like watching an All Pro linebacker fearlessly fill the gap. Federer launched into the 2015 US Open like a hyperactive child chained too long to the jungle gym…and it was effective. He jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Mayer could adjust, and when Leonardo did, Roger changed tactics remaining unpredictable. In the second set, Roger would break to go up 3-1, then 5-2 and served out the set. He finished with flair, delivering a leaping smash at the net just steps from his seat. He was sipping Evian before Eva Asderaki Moore could announce the score. The decider was dejas vu of set-2 and Federer strolled into the second round with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over an Argentine who had 5-match points on Roger in Shanghai less than a year ago. In my eyes, there’s a swagger and pep in Roger’s step. He’s oozing even more confidence than I’m used to seeing from the GOAT. His 7th Cincinnati title was a huge win for the 5-time US Open Champ. After all, he took down the top-2 players in the world at the time, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, to become the last man standing. With Nishikori’s early departure from Flushing, Novak may have the easier road to September 13th, but should Roger handle the heavy lifting in his half of the draw, that swagger and confidence will no doubt consume his form in the year’s final Grand Slam Final. Next up: Belgium’s Steve Darcis, who advanced over Marcos Baghdatis. The Cypriot retired down 1-3 in the fourth. He’d lost the second and third sets after winning the first in a tie-break.

[3] Andy Murray (GBR) def. Nick Kyrgios (AUS) – If Nick Kyrgios had spent as much time strategizing his approach to Andy Murray’s tactics as he did checking his mug on the stadium scoreboards, Monday night’s marquee match-up might’ve been worth a crap. Sincerely…the kid’s better than that – and he knows it. In a true battle of multiple on-court personalities, Kyrgios made the oft-brooding Murray look like a skilled poker champ…all-in, holding a pair of threes. After two hours and fourty-three minutes loudly bathed in negative self rumination, at least Kyrgios could say that he’d made some progress against Andy – he finally won a set off the 2012 US Open Champ. Murray advanced 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 while Donna Vekic and Stan Wawrinka…paid absolutely no attention. Next up for Andy: Adrian Mannarino of France, who easily dispatched Russia’s Konstantin Kravchuk in three sets today.

[5] Petra Kvitova (CZE) def. Laura Siegemund (GER) – Let’s be honest. Many describe 2015 as a “disappointing season” for Petra Kvitova because the two-time Wimbledon Champ hasn’t reached the second week of a Grand Slam all year. They say it’s “disappointing” because she finally learned that she has mononucleosis and missed March’s two big Premier events, Indian Wells and Miami. Here’s the reality: If winning three titles (Sydney, Madrid and New Haven) is a “disappointing season,” I’ll take it. If discovering the source of my confusing burn-out and fatigue is “disappointing,” allow me my misery. This has been a solid season for Kvitova in the face of malady, plus she finally understands what her body has been trying to tell her. She’s regained control in the season’s final quarter, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see her go deep in Flushing. Remarkably, she comes into this year’s Open after capturing her third Connecticut Open title in four consecutive finals…and tonight was an extension of that confidence and conscienceness of condition. In about an hour, she steam-rolled German Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1 to set up a second round clash with American Nicole Gibbs, who took-out Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez Lino in three sets today. Gibbs played inspired tennis in Flushing last year, reaching the 3rd round in her best Grand Slam showing to date. We’ll see how Nicole stacks up Thursday against an emboldened and aware Kvitova.

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Round-2. Arthur Ashe Stadium: Day-3 Schedule.

  • [DAY] Tereza Smitkova (CZE) vs. [19] Madison Keys (USA)
  • [DAY] Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) vs. Defending US Open Champion [9] Marin Cilic (CRO)
  • [DAY] Kiki Bertens (NED) vs. Six-time and defending US Open Champion [1] Serena Williams
  • [NIGHT] Irina Falconi (USA) vs. 2-time US Open Champion [23]Venus Williams
  • [NIGHT] Andreas Haider-Mauer (AUT) vs. 2011 US Open Champion [1] Novak Djokovic