The story of the day
This is the story of the greatest champion in the history of modern women’s tennis. Or just women’s tennis, everyone will place her in their own pantheon. The story of a champion who cannot retire because she still plays tennis very well. So well that we can think that she is about to make a mistake by putting away her rackets after this US Open. At least, we have a good laugh, because the organization offers us a tribute even after its victories.
Back to sports. Yes, the return to competition of the youngest of the Williams sisters had not been a great success in the heart of the summer. Quickly out at Wimbledon, only able to win a match on the North American tour, Serena hadn’t given very encouraging signs for this US Open. The total decline after a year of injury. So much so that his first round in Flushing seemed to be a farewell match and not a Grand Slam match, all with overpriced tickets to attend the last ball.
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But Serena Williams found the eye of the tiger on the Arthur-Ashe court, her home. She no longer has her 20-year-old legs, it can be seen at times during long exchanges, but seeing her dominate Anett Kontaveit in this way, having to go for the win in the deciding set, makes you admiring and curious for the rest of the events. . The world number 2 still released a very solid performance, in a complicated context, and sent Serena quite a few times into the ropes.
Very important detail: during this fight, “SW” never seemed physically worn out. His last set was his best since returning to action this year. There were “old school” shots, like those numerous backhands down the line taken very early in the court or that splendid forehand volley at 4-2 in the last act. Pure Serena.
Richard Williams’ daughter has recognized it, her usual level is gradually returning. And inevitably, she takes a liking to this little game of ‘I’m postponing my retirement’: “For two matches it is getting back in place, but I was training well“, she argued after her victory. Laughing, she especially recalled the obvious: “I’m quite a good player (…) No, I’m not surprised by my level, I’m just Serena.”
Serena, euphoric: “I have nothing more to prove, nor anything more to lose”
Fights in 5 sets. Daniel Elahi Galan, Wu Yibing, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Tommy Paul entertained the Flushing Meadows public with extended matches as we like them. Special mention to Wu Yibing who fought like hell against Nuno Borges. The Chinese won a 5th set, before giving everything in the decisive round. A little David Ferrer side that we appreciate.
The match between Bianca Andreescu and Beatriz Haddad Maia. Both players sent game winners galore in the final game of the day on Wednesday. Two very aggressive girls: a right-hander, Andreescu, a left-hander, Haddad Maia. It was enough to propose a beautiful opposition, certainly a little disjointed, but very “grinta” in the soul. Too bad we didn’t see three sets.
A rebirth all in aggressiveness: we found the Andreescu of 2019
We didn’t like
Arthur Rinderknech’s start to the match. The Frenchman, whose preparation for this second round was disrupted by the hasty departure of his coach to France, put on a set before entering his game against Daniil Medvedev. Against an opponent of such caliber, it is prohibitive. A nice wink all the same: the Frenchman, a former university student in the United States, was able to take advantage of the services of his former college coach, Steve Denton.
Félix Auger-Aliassime’s performance. The Canadian is a magnificent player and his performances in Melbourne against Daniil Medvedev and at Roland-Garros against Rafael Nadal have shown this in particular this season. But his copy made facing the astonishing Jack Draper is not very acceptable when one aspires to go all the way up. FAA is a much better player than that. He will come out of the Top 10 when 2022 was to be his year.
Félix Auger-Aliassime during his 2nd round match against Jack Draper
Credit: Getty Images
Just to know
He does not feel a little lonely Daniil Medvedev? Stefanos Tsitsipas and Félix Auger-Aliassime are no longer there after three days of competition. Matteo Berrettini and Nick Kyrgios had fairly sluggish second rounds overall. Only Casper Ruud seems to evolve at his level in the upper part of the table. Seeing the Russian stuck before the last four seems unlikely anyway.
Andy Murray will he finally find the second week in Grand Slam? The Brit plays well, moves well and only has one game left to win before returning to altitudes he hasn’t reached in over five years.
Caro Garcia, that sounds serious, doesn’t it? The Lyonnaise cut off poor Anna Kalinskaya (6-3, 6-1) in the second round and her level of play impresses. Offensive, on the court, solid in the exchange, Garcia plays a conquering tennis that we had not seen at home since the end of 2017.
Canon returns and 100% confidence: Garcia unrolled to advance to the 3rd round
The declaration: Nick Kyrgios
“I don’t want to disappoint some people. That’s why I have high expectations and high goals (…) This season has been fantastic in many ways. In terms of tennis, I want to reinvent myself, to come back to the top because I know it’s my place. This Wimbledon final was a turning point for me mentally. If I had won, I don’t know where my motivation would be. (…) I didn’t know I was capable of putting so much pressure on myself. Every day I come, I watch what I eat, I train and I go to sleep. (…) I feel really professional now.”
Three stats to remember
29,959. This is the new attendance record for a night session match. Of course, it was Serena Williams who broke this two-day old record. She had indeed held the previous since Monday and her first round match.
1946. Qualified for the 3rd round, the Chinese Wu Yubing breaks all records in Flushing. He is the first player from his nation to go so far in a Grand Slam since 1946 and Kho Sin-Khie who had done the same at Wimbledon. At the US Open, this had never happened in the Open era. In history, not done since 1881.
28. This is the number of victories for Caro Garcia since Roland-Garros. The Frenchwoman has been the most successful player on the WTA circuit by far since the end of May.
The match not to be missed on Thursday
This is a first in the history of the US Open. Thursday evening, Serena and Venus Williams will play a night session doubles match against the pair Hradecka – Noskova. Seeing doubles scheduled on the big courts is something normal, but in the middle of the first week, it’s just crazy.
Instead of seeing a women’s singles match, viewers will see the Williams sisters playing together, perhaps for the last time in their careers. It’s perhaps even stronger than Serena’s last singles ball, as Serena and Venus marked a break in modern tennis history. Yes, it’s a must for tennis lovers.
Venus Williams and Serena Williams
Credit: Getty Images
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