REVIEW: Day 2 at the 2015 US Open for the Australians - UBITENNIS
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REVIEW: Day 2 at the 2015 US Open for the Australians

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September 1, 2015
U.S. Open 2015
By: Jillian Wright

On Day 2 at the US Open, there were nine Aussies in action. Three made it through to the second round: Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic and Samantha Stosur. Losing in day 2 of the first round were Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, James Duckworth, John-Patrick Smith, Jarmila Gajdosova and Ajla Tomljanovic.

Lleyton Hewitt vs. Alex Nedovyesov

Hewitt advanced to the second round at the US Open beating the 100th ranked Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan: 6-0, 7-6, 1-0 (retired). Nedovyesov was one of ten men to retire in the first round. He had received a medical time out in between the first and second sets to work on his right shoulder.

Hewitt had recently bested Nedovyesov in the fifth rubber in Australia’s dramatic Davis Cup win last July. The Aussie was quite business-like in the first set moving and hitting well and losing only seven points. The second set was much closer with Hewitt facing eight breakpoints, but saving seven of them. Hewitt broke Nedovyesov in the third game but gave back the break in a sloppy fourth game. In the eighth game, Hewitt saved three breakpoints and each player held their serves after that resulting in a tiebreak. Nedovyesov seemed frustrated in the tiebreak and Hewitt won it 7-2. Just into the second game of the third set, Nedovyesov decided to retire.

Hewitt will face his good friend and fellow Aussie, Bernard Tomic, in the second round. This will be their first tournament level match but they should know each other’s game from practicing together.

Bernard Tomic vs. Damir Dzumhur

The 22-year-old Aussie defeated Bosnian Damir Dzumhur in four sets (5-7, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3) in a match that was closer than it needed to be. Tomic’s current ranking is 24, Dzumhur is ranked 98. This is the first time the two have faced each other. Tomic fired off 16 aces and played more tightly in the third and fourth sets.

Thanasi Kokkinakis vs. Richard Gasquet

Kokkinakis went down to 12th seed Gasquet: 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, 3-6, 0-2. The talented young Aussie was forced to retire in the fifth set due to severe cramping. He started coming apart towards the end of the fourth set, barely moving on the court. At one point, the chair umpire asked Kokkinakis if he wanted to continue playing telling him that his health was more important than this match. Kokkinakis tried to play on, even resorting to an underhand serve. He realized he couldn’t continue and retired from the match. He was obviously disappointed and banged his racquet in frustration.

Nick Kyrgios vs. Andy Murray

The 3rd seed Murray got the best of Kyrgios in their much anticipated first round match: 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.

James Duckworth vs. Hyeon Chung

The 95th ranked Aussie lost to Chung (who is ranked 69) in straight sets: 6-3, 6-1, 6-2. The 19-year-old Chung became the first South Korean to win a grand slam match in seven years.

Sam Stosur: Fit, Focused and In Fine Form

Brisbane native Sam Stosur (22nd seed) used equal parts skill, strength, consistency and mental toughness to dismiss 22-year-old Timea Babos (Hungary) in straight sets (6-3, 6-4). Stosur forced two service breaks against none lost to secure the win in just over one hour. In the process, she gained a bit of revenge for a close loss to Babos at the Western & Southern tournament in Cincinnati last month.

Playing before a respectable first round crowd on Court 17, Stosur showed no signs of the foot injury that hampered her movement earlier in the year. She moved fluidly all over the court and ran down one shot after another from the pesky Babos.

A healthy Stosur represents a threat to Serena Williams’ 2015 grand slam pursuit. Sam is one of only three women to have beaten Serena in a grand slam final (her sister Venus twice and Maria Sharapova once). Stosur handily beat Serena in the 2011 U.S. Open finals for her only grand slam crown and would love an opportunity to add another.

Stosur got off to a very good start against Babos firing on all cylinders with all of her strokes. She was particularly effective with her slicing second serve which bounced high off of the resilient Flushing Meadows court and gave Babos considerable trouble.

Babos served well landing 61% of her first serves and winning 71% of her first serve points. However, she could only manage 8 winners. Stosur served equally well and used an array of driving topspin forehands, slice backhands and an occasional overhead to earn 25 winners against 17 unforced errors for 63 points won.

Early on neither player could force a break point opportunity. But that changed quickly with Stosur leading 4-3 and Babos serving. Stosur jumped out to a love-30 lead off of two beautiful forehand winners. Babos fought back but double faulted at deuce and Sam closed out the break point to lead 5-3. Stosur held serve and finished out the set 6-3.

With Babos serving Sam grabbed a 0-15 advantage with a terrific topspin forehand passing shot. Although Babos took the first game Sam pushed her to two break point chances before conceding. Critically, Stosur showed no signs of the second set jitters that sometimes haunt her after a strong first set.

At 3-3 in the second set Babos’ serve went pear-shaped and Stosur capitalized with her second service break. Stosur consolidated the break for 5-3 but then for a brief moment it looked as if the jitters may creep in yet again. With Babos serving, Sam hit two easy forehands plunk into the net and went on to hand Babos the game. But Sam was able to regain her composure and put Babos away with a flurry of precision serves and ground strokes.

Stosur will face the Russian Evgeniya Rodina (ranked 94) in the next round. This will be their first tour meeting. If Sam maintains this good form and composure she will be a formidable opponent for anyone in the draw. Last year, Stosur went out in the second round losing to Kaia Kanepi in three sets.

Jarmila Gajdosova vs. Flavia Pennetta

The 26th seed Pennetta proved too much for Gajdosova in this match: 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Pennetta was the better server and had fewer unforced errors.

Ajla Tomljanovic vs. Karin Knapp

In another first round Australian / Italian match up, the Italian won again: 6-7, 6-2, 6-4. Tomljanovic and Knapp played each other at the Hobart International in January with Knapp winning that match as well. Prior to the US Open, Knapp had exited the other three grand slams this year in the first round.

Day 3 Preview

The only Aussie singles match on Day 3 is Sam Groth (ranked 55) playing Tommy Robredo of Spain (the 26 seed). Robredo won their only previous encounter in Shenzhen in 2014.

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Caroline Wozniacki Calls For More Help To Support Returning Mothers

Caroline Wozniacki has called on the WTA to support returning mothers.

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Caroline Wozniacki has called on the WTA to provide more support for returning mothers.

The Dane is one of a number of top stars that have returned to the tour since becoming a mother.

Recently the likes of Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka have all returned to the tour since becoming a mother.

However Wozniacki believes the WTA could provide more support to mothers who plan on returning to the tour, “I think I’ve been treated very well, The tournaments have really embraced me coming back and with kids,” Wozniacki explained to the Press Association.

Where I do share my view, and where a lot of other women on tour share the view, is I think there should be more done for women coming back from maternity leave. It has been looked at because obviously there’s more players now that want to come back but, at the same time, it’s not the same as coming back from an injury.

“As someone who came back after almost four years, I think when you give birth and for the body to recover, you’ve grown a human inside you, there’s a lot of changes that are happening in the body after that. I think in general women deserve more time to feel, ‘OK, now I’m ready, I can really prepare and get ready for competing at the highest level’.

It’s an issue that has made progress but there is still work to do in order to encourage people that it’s possible to make a smooth transition from motherhood to the tennis court.

As for Wozniacki, the Dane recently lost in the first round of Birmingham to Elise Mertens and is now preparing for Wimbledon where she has received a main draw wildcard.

Wimbledon starts on the first of July.

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Could Dan Evans’ Latest Injury Halt Andy Murray’s Olympic Plans?

Andy Murray Olympics hopes could pin down to Dan Evans’ recovery from his latest injury.

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Andy Murray had said that he may not play the Olympic Games if he plays just the singles event.

This could be the last summer that Andy Murray plays competitive tennis as he gears up for a potential Wimbledon farewell.

However Wimbledon may not be the tournament that Murray announces his retirement with the Olympics coming up next month.

The Olympics will take place in Paris and the former gold medallist has been announced in GB’s team ahead of the games.

There is a plot twist to all of this and that plot twist is Murray’s recent comments about whether he would play the Olympic Games.

In a recent interview Murray admitted that he wouldn’t be keen on just playing singles in Paris given the fact that it’s being played on his least favourite surface clay, “There is more chance of me winning a medal in the doubles rather than the singles,” Murray told BBC Sport.

“I’m not 100% sure. It depends a little bit physically how I’m doing and a bit how the next few weeks ago as well. My plan just now is to play but it’s not straightforward.”

The only player that Murray could play doubles with at the Olympics is Dan Evans, which they will probably find out on the fourth of July if they will get into the event.

However there is now a spanner in the works which is Dan Evans’ recent injury with the Brit suffering a nasty fall against Brandon Nakashima at Queen’s Club.

It will be known in the next couple of days how bad Evans’ injury is but after his match in London, the Brit was worried about a potential MCL injury, “I’m worried, no doubt,” Evans told the press association.

“I mean, a good thing, I thought it was my groin. That settled down pretty much straight away. But I think it’s MCL, sort of a bit inside of the knee. There is an issue there, that’s for sure after the testing so far with the physios.

“So I’ve got to wait 48 hours, let it settle, and then get a scan. I’m worried, yeah. That’s the bottom line, of course. Yeah, I’m in limbo a bit. It’s frustrating. If I miss the Olympics or Wimbledon it would be a tough one to swallow, no doubt.

“I don’t know. I’m just, I’m heartbroken at the minute, to be honest. Yeah, it’s tough.”

If the injury to Evans, results in Murray’s Olympics withdrawal then it would be a sad way to end Murray’s Olympics career that has included two gold medals.

However the main importance is that Evans is able to compete in the near future as he aims to be fit in time for Wimbledon.

Wimbledon starts on the first of July with the Olympics taking place 26 days later.

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Former Champion Angelique Kerber And Naomi Osaka Headline Initial Wimbledon Wildcards

Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka headline the Wimbledon wildcards this year.

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Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has headlined the initial Wimbledon wildcards that have been announced this morning.

The German won the title in 2018 after defeating Serena Williams and is aiming to recreate some more magic at SW19 as she receives a wildcard into the main draw.

Although Kerber’s comeback hasn’t gone to plan, the German will hope grass is where she can find some confidence with the Olympic Games also in her plans there.

Another player who will be hoping for a change of fortunes at Wimbledon is former world number one Caroline Wozniacki who has also received a wildcard for the event.

Wozniacki was thrashed this week by Elise Mertens in Birmingham and will be hoping that she can improve her form over the next couple of weeks.

However a player that is in confident form right now is former US Open champion Naomi Osaka who has received a wildcard into Wimbledon.

The former world number one almost defeated Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros and is finding her feet on the grass after struggling in previous years.

On the men’s side Nottingham champion Jacob Fearnley has received a main draw wildcard as well as last year’s Juniors champion Henry Searle.

Here is the full list announced by the AELTC this morning with the final list set to be confirmed later this week or early next week.

Men’s Singles:

  1. Liam Broady
  2. Jan Choinski
  3. Jacob Fearnley
  4. Arthur Fery
  5. Billy Harris
  6. Paul Jubb
  7. Henry Searle
  8. TBA

Women’s Singles

  1. Francesca Jones
  2. Angelique Kerber
  3. Yuriko Lily Miyazaki
  4. Naomi Osaka
  5. Emma Raducanu
  6. Heather Watson
  7. Caroline Wozniacki
  8. TBA

Men’s Qualifying Singles

  1. Oliver Bonding
  2. Charles Broom
  3. Jay Clarke
  4. Felix Gill
  5. George Loffhagen
  6. Jack Pinnington Jones
  7. TBA
  8. Play-Off Place
  9. Play-Off Place

Women’s Qualifying Singles

  1. Emily Appleton
  2. Armani Banks
  3. Sonay Kartal
  4. Hannah Klugman
  5. Clervie Ngounoue
  6. Mika Stojsavljevic
  7. Mingge Xu
  8. Play-Off Place
  9. Play-Off Place

Men’s Doubles

  1. Liam Broady/Billy Harris
  2. Charles Broom/Arthur Fery
  3. Jay Clarke/Marcus Willis
  4. Dan Evans/Henry Searle
  5. Jacob Fearnley/Jack Pinnington Jones
  6. TBA
  7. TBA

Women’s Doubles

  1. Emily Appleton/Yuriko Lily Miyazaki
  2. Alicia Barnett/Freya Christie
  3. Harriet Dart/Maia Lumsden
  4. TBA
  5. TBA
  6. TBA
  7. TBA

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