American world No.116 Taylor Townsend approached the net more than 100 times to overcome fourth seed Simona Halep in the second round of the US Open and record her first Top 10 victory in 11 tries.
The 23-year-old Townsend had never before beaten Halep in their three previous meetings and it seemed that the story would be the same in their Thursday’s match-up in New York, as the Romanian former world No.1 cruised through the first set. Qualifier Townsend, however, was determined to go for the win, increased her net approaches in the second and third sets and, as Halep’s aggression subsided, the underdog got in control.
The decider was highly dramatic, as Halep saved two match points from 40-15 down in the tenth game to break and level at 5-5. The two-time Grand Slam champion then saved a break point to hold serve in the eleventh game and afterwards earned a match point of her own. American Townsend fought off that match point to force a deciding tiebreak, in which she prevailed for a 2-6 6-3 7-6(4) victory.
Here are some interesting Townsand’s stats pointed out by WTA Insider:
Serve and Volley Points Won:
Set 1: 2 of 7
Set 2: 9 of 14
Set 3: 26 of 40
Set 1: 9 of 16
Set 2: 15 of 26
Set 3: 40 of 64
Overall, Townsend approached the net 106 times, compared to Halep’s 10! Their winning percentage at the net was the same — 60%.
Townsend has reached the third round at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2014 Roland Garros. Her next opponent will be another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea.