Yesterday’s storm that covered New York postponed many matches, but when the sun shone over Flushing Meadows Thursday morning, the city was ready for tennis action and many interesting matches took the stage.
World No.1 Serena Williams easily won her match against Kazakh world No.77 Galina Voskoboeva 6-3 6-0 in just an hour and nine minutes. The first set was a bit slow and lasted for long 42 minutes, during which Williams struggled a little, but later on the defending champion found her game and finished the second set with a bagel.
The afternoon had a surprise in store for us, as world No.83 Flavia Pennetta dominated fellow Italian Sara Errani 6-3 6-1, evening their head-to-head record to 3-3. In the third round, Pennetta will face 27th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova. It will be interesting to see whether the Italian will manage to put a stop to her disappointing history with Kuznetsova – they have played five times and even met at the US Open in the first round in 2003, but every time Pennetta lost.
While the Italians played, Kuznetsova won her marathon match against Peng Shuai in three sets which lasted for two hours and 48 minutes and ended 6-1 4-6 6-4. It was almost the same as the last night’s match between Venus Williams and Zheng Jie. The third set lasted 80 minutes and came to 5-4 when Peng suddenly asked for medical timeout because of the pain in her thigh. She didn’t want to leave the game and tried to play till the end, but couldn’t give her best and turn the match around. Although Peng lost, there were great ovations for her because of her bravery.
Ninth seed Jelena Jankovic quickly finished her match against Alisa Kleybanova, who was making her first Grand Slam appearance since recovery from cancer. The Serb won 6-3 6-2 in just an hour and 13 minutes and passed into the third round where she will meet Nara Kurumi, ranked 109th. This is the first time that Japan’s Nara has qualified for the US Open.
Ana Ivanovic also breezed into the third round with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru. The 214th-ranked Dulgheru’s best performance at the US Open so far was also the second round in 2011. Serbia’s Ivanovic will meet American Christina McHale in the third round. The two have met twice before and both times McHale lost. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)