US OPEN – Coming into these championships, British Johanna Konta, currently ranked 97 in the world, won two ITF (International Tennis Federation) events for a total of ten matches. Then she came through 3 rounds of qualifications for the main draw of the Open and then found herself in the 2nd round having won 14 straight matches. This win streak is impressive not just for the sheer physical effort but also the mental strength it takes to accomplish. Coming up against Garbiñe Muguruza (9), Konta showed that both her mental and physical games are at very high levels as she upset this year’s Wimbledon finalist 7-6 6-7 6-2 in what turned out to be the longest women’s singles match in US Open history at 3 hours and 23 minutes. Konta was ready for a fight against Muguruza despite her recent success, “[I]f I would go out again some of these players and see them as their ranking, then I probably would have already lost before I even stepped on the court.”
This is the third meeting between the two players having most recently played each other at Eastbourne where Konta won. Konta got the early lead at 5-3 and served for the opening set at 5-4. Muguruza who is far more experienced in these types of situation, was able to break to level the set 5-5. They both held serve and forced the matter to be decided in a tiebreaker. In the end, it was Konta who won the opening set 7-6(4) which lasted an hour and 20 minutes. It was clear that these ladies were in for a fight.
In the 2nd set, it turned out to be a near verse of the first with Muguruza having the early lead. She served for the set up 5-4 but Konta broke back and again the set was to be decided by a tiebreaker. Konta got into it with the chair umpire owing to what she thought was a poor decision to give Muguruza a point due to an incorrect call from a linesperson. Muguruza seized up this momentary lapse in concentration to level the match at a set apiece 7-6(4). Muguruza would later state in her press conference that since Wimbledon she is feeling some pressure to perform. She has not won a match on the American hardcourt events coming into this tournament. The Spaniard admitted that despite the matches look easier on paper since being in the top 10, it was still a tough battle out on court.
In the 3rd set, Konta did not sit idly by particularly in the hot and humid conditions. She began to be far more assertive on court. She raced out to a 4-0 lead. Muguruza stated that Konta believed in herself and her game on the important points. She believed that she could win and cause the upset again. Konta would later say, “I felt I had a very clear idea of how I wanted to be out there. Whether it was going to be win or lose, I wanted things to happen on my terms.” Muguruza held serve twice as Konta served it for the win and her debut in the 3rd round of a major 7-6 6-7 6-2 in nearly 3 and half hours.
“I’m very happy to come back and fight another day. I’m very tired right now … it’s a good tired because it just shows that, you know, I left everything out there,” Konta said after the match. Muguruza too said the same for her performance that despite being disappointed in the lost, she felt that she fought hard on court and did not give up. It was simply unfortunate that her tennis could not see her through for the win. Both women were battling from the baseline where they played the majority of the points. Konta only ventured to net 13 times winning 12 of those points. Muguruza won 18/26 points at the net. Konta had 36 winners to 34 errors whereas Muguruza had a 45 to 59 winners to errors ratio. Interestingly enough, Konta only won 9 more points than Muguruza for the entire match, 142 to 133.
Konta will next face Andrea Petkovic (18) in the 3rd round. Petkovic took out Elena Vesnina 6-3 7-6(5). Of the matchup, Konta said, “[I]t will be a challenge. I’m expecting a very tough competitor because that’s what she is.” The Briton, now on a 15-match win streak, is not getting too far ahead of herself at these championships as she said, “Obviously I’m happy that I have been able to stay healthy enough to be competing as much as I have. You know, I am going to lose sooner or later.”
Bianca Andreescu Battles Past Alize Cornet In Toronto
The Canadian is into the round of 16 of her home event after beating the Frenchwomen in another three-set battle.
Bianca Andreescu booked her spot in the round of 16 of the National Bank Open at Sobeys Stadium in Toronto after beating Alize Cornet in three tight sets 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 26 minutes.
The Toronto native hit 27 winners and won 60% of her first serve points in another marathon match on Center Court.
“It wasn’t easy at all coming off a tough match yesterday and another one today,” said Andreescu. “She played consistently and I had to go for every ball and I had to fight and I had to push through. I am happy with my mental strength”.
The match started with both players once again struggling with their serves and the first five games were breaks until Andreescu was able to hold serve to take a 4-2 lead. That break was enough for the world number 53 to serve out the first set.
The first three games of the second set went with serve before the Canadian once again to the delight of the home crowd earned three chances to break and broke Cornet’s serve to take a 3-1 lead. The Frenchwomen managed to get the break back the following game and at 4-3 broke the Toronto native one more time before serving out the second set.
In the decider the first three games went on serve and thanks to a poor service game from Cornet Andreescu got the break to take a 3-1 lead. That was enough to serve out the match.
Day 3 results
Another busy day at the National Bank Open in Toronto and there were a lot of surprising results.
Garbine Muguruza who has been flying under the radar lately beat the Estonian Kaia Kanepi in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, only needing one hour and 33 minutes.
Ons Jabeur the number five seed was forced to retire down 6-1, 2-1 to Qinwen Zheng of China while Paula Badosa of Spain also retired due to injury against Yulia Putintseva down 7-5, 1-0.
Jil Teichmann beat the number two seed Anett Kontaveitt also in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, and Aryna Sabalenka the number six seed beat the Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-3.
Leylah Fernandez was also upset as she lost to the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in two sets 7-6, 6-1. Simona Halep got past Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-2.
Jessica Pegula beat the American qualifier Asia Muhammad 6-2, 7-5 in the all-American battle on court 4. Another American Alison Riske upset the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in three sets 7-6, 0-6, 7-5.
The world number one Iga Swiatek had no issues beating the Australian qualifier Alja Tomlijanovic 6-1, 6-2 in 64 minutes and Coco Gauff sent the Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina packing in three sets. The number 10 seed needed three sets and two hours and 49 minutes to beat her 6-4, 6-7, 7-6.
Karolina Pliskova, the tournament’s 14th seed, steamrolled the American Amanda Anisimova. Finally, in the first-night session match, Belinda Bencic beat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 in her last match in Canada.
Canada Daily Preview: Two Clashes Between Top 10 Seeds in the Third Round
On Thursday, all third round matches will take place in both Montreal and Toronto, making for another extremely busy day of tennis. And two of those third round encounters see top 10 seeds collide. In Montreal, Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime faces Cam Norrie in a rematch from last Friday’s Los Cabos semifinals. In Toronto, Aryna Sabalenka plays Coco Gauff, who survived an extended battle on Wednesday against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule. Thursday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time in Toronto and 12:00pm local time in Montreal.
Aryna Sabalenka (6) vs. Coco Gauff (10) – 11:00am on Grandstand in Toronto
Gauff’s second-round victory on Wednesday was a grueling affair. After failing to convert four match points in the second-set tiebreak, Coco finally prevailed in a third-set tiebreak. And she did so despite striking 13 double faults, a part of her game that continues to trouble her. Sabalenka spent over an hour less time on court, defeating Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets. Gauff leads their head-to-head 2-1, though all three meetings have been rather tight. And of late, Coco has been the much stronger performer. Going back to her run to the French Open final, Gauff has claimed 15 of her last 19 matches. By contrast, Sabalenka arrived in Toronto having lost three of her last four. While Coco will surely feel a bit tired on Thursday, she’ll also feel relieved having escaped what would have been a heartbreaking loss a day earlier, and should play a bit more freely. And most importantly, she’s currently feeling much more confident than Sabalenka.
Cameron Norrie (9) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Not Before 4:00pm on Court Central in Montreal
Last week in Los Cabos, Norrie took out Auger-Aliassime in straight sets. However, that was Cam’s first victory over Felix in five tries. The previous four had all gone the way of the Canadian, including another hard court matchup earlier this year in Rotterdam. Auger-Aliassime pulled out a dramatic first-set tiebreak on Wednesday night over Washington runner-up Yoshihito Nishioka in thrilling fashion, eventually prevailing in straights. Earlier in the day, Norrie advanced comfortably, allowing Botic van de Zandschulp only three games. Just six days removed from their last encounter, Felix will be eager for revenge, especially at his home country’s biggest event. But playing at home comes with a lot of pressure, and Auger-Aliassime is only 3-4 in his last seven matches. Cam is the more in-form player, and should be favored to earn his second win over Felix in less than a week.
Other Notable Matches on Thursday:
Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Camila Giorgi – Giorgi is the defending champion, and is yet to drop a set through two matches. Last year in the semifinals of this same event, she defeated Pegula in three. But overall the American leads their head-to-head 5-2 at all levels, and has twice defeated Camila since that semifinal.
Nick Kyrgios vs. Alex de Minaur – It’s Australian versus Australian, and the Washington champ against the Atlanta champ. Kyrgios upset world No.1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday, and has now won 13 of his last 14 matches. De Minaur has already defeated Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov this week.
Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia – In typical Swiatek fashion, she required just over an hour to prevail over Ajla Tomljanovic in her opening match. Haddad Maia eliminated Canada’s Leylah Fernandez on Wednesday, and won 13 straight matches on grass in June.
Bianca Andreescu vs. Qinwen Zheng – Andreescu outlasted Alize Cornet on Wednesday night in a tight three-setter. Qinwen benefitted from Ons Jabeur’s retirement due to abdominal pain during their second round matchup.
Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.
Canada Daily Preview: A Huge Day of Action Headlined by Serena/Bencic and Medvedev/Kyrgios
On Tuesday, Serena Williams announced her retirement from the sport in a poignant essay. With only a month left before one of the greatest players of all-time retires, Serena will play only her third match in the past 14 months on Wednesday, as she faces fellow Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic.
In Montreal, the two ATP singles champions from last week will collide, as Los Cabos champ and world No.1 Daniil Medvedev takes on Washington champ and Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios.
Those are just two of a plethora of high-profile second round matches on Wednesday. Overall seven of the WTA top 10 and six of the ATP top 10 will be in action in a jam-packed day of tennis.
Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule. Wednesday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time in both Toronto and Montreal.
Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Nick Kyrgios – Not Before 1:00pm on Court Central in Montreal
Medvedev did not drop a set during his title run last week in Mexico, and is the defending champion of this event. But Kyrgios is having the best summer of his career. He’s now claimed 12 of his last 13 matches, which of course includes his first Major singles final at Wimbledon. And Nick is 2-1 against Daniil, though they’ve split two hard court meetings. Three years ago in the final of Washington, Kyrgios prevailed thanks to two tiebreaks. But at this year’s Australian Open, Medvedev was victorious in four. Last year at this tournament, Daniil defeated a few other big servers such as Hubi Hurkacz, John Isner, and Reilly Opelka. On Wednesday, his defensive skills may again prove to diffuse Nick’s serving prowess. And as seen in the Wimbledon final, Kyrgios can get easily frustrated by opponents who can play elite-level defense.
Belinda Bencic (12) vs. Serena Williams – Not Before 7:00pm on Centre Court on Toronto
These next few weeks will be the last in perhaps the most remarkable career in tennis history. Serena has said she does not want a lot of fanfare surrounding her last tournaments, but fans will surely be clamoring to see the all-time great one last time. In just her third match this year, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in women’s singles faces the most recent gold medalist. Bencic is now 28-13 this season, and two of her best results this season have come in the US. She was a semifinalist in Miami, and the champion in Charleston. Serena is 2-1 against Belinda, though Bencic’s only victory occurred in this same city seven years ago, when the Swiss star won this title as an 18-year-old. Williams played some good tennis during her straight-set victory on Monday, and both players will assumedly be quite nervous knowing this is one of Serena’s final matches. But considering Williams has not defeated a top 20 player since the 2021 Australian Open, Bencic should be favored on this day. Regardless, this opportunity to watch Serena compete will be cherished by her millions of fans.
Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:
Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Ajla Tomljanovic – Swiatek is now 48-5 on the year, and has won her last three hard court tournaments dating back to February (Doha, Indian Wells, Miami). Tomljanovic reached her second consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinal last month. Their only previous meeting also occurred in Toronto, when three years ago the Australian retired after only five games.
Elena Rybakina vs. Coco Gauff (10) – The new Wimbledon champion played for a full three hours on Tuesday, eventually defeating Marie Bouzkova 6-1 in the third. On the same day, Gauff dropped only four games to fellow American Madison Brengle.
Tommy Paul vs. Carlos Alcaraz – Alcaraz is now 42-7 in 2022, and is coming off back-to-back finals at clay events in Europe. Paul has accumulated 25 wins of his own this season, 16 of which have come on hard courts.
Beatriz Haddad Maia vs. Leylah Fernandez (13) – Fernandez gritted her way to a three-set victory on Monday night in her first match since injuring her foot at Roland Garros. Haddad Maia has 34 wins on the year, and won back-to-back grass court tournaments in June. Earlier this season in the semifinals of Monterrey, Leylah prevailed over Beatriz in straight sets.
Qinwen Zheng vs. Ons Jabeur (5) – Jabeur went 1-1 last week in her first two matches since her losing effort in the Wimbledon final. Qinwen also lost to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon, after two tight sets in the third round of that event.
Bianca Andreescu vs. Alize Cornet – Andreescu overcame injury to defeat San Jose champion Daria Kasatkina on Tuesday evening, requiring multiple medical timeouts in the first set alone. Earlier in the day, Cornet took out Caroline Garcia in three sets. Alize is 2-0 against Bianca.
Yoshihito Nishioka (SE) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Nishioka was a surprise finalist last week in Washington, where he earned impressive victories over five top 40 players, including Andrey Rublev. Auger-Aliassime has now lost four of his last six matches. Yoshi leads their tour-level head-to-head 2-1, which includes a dramatic three-set win three years ago at Indian Wells in a third-set tiebreak.
Jack Draper (Q) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) – Tsitsipas has not played since his embarrassing behavior in a third-round defeat at the hands of Kyrgios at Wimbledon. 20-year-old Draper has earned 35 match wins at all levels this season.
Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.
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