US Open 2012: Day 3 Preview
August 29, 2012 · Print This Article
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams opened their 2012 US Open campaigns in style on Day 2, each dropping just 2 games as they comfortably moved into the second round of the tournament.
Day 2 Recap
Looking to recapture the world number one ranking, the second seeded Djokovic was far too good for Italian Paolo Lorenzi. The Serb was joined in the second round by fellow seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Andy Roddick, Tomas Berdych, Sam Querrey, Milos Raonic and Nicolas Almagro.
Tenth seed Juan Monaco was the biggest casualty on Day 2 in the men’s tournament, squandering a 2 sets to love lead as he went down in a fifth set tiebreaker to Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Alexandr Dolgopolov executed a similar comeback to Garcia-Lopez’s, defeating American Jesse Levine in 5 sets after dropping the opening pair of sets.
Day 2 was a good day for the big names in the women’s tournament, as Venus Williams joined her sister Serena in the second round with a comprehensive win over compatriot Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska also progressed with ease, while other seeds to score wins on Day 2 included Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber and Maria Kirilenko.
Rising American star Sloane Stephens scored one of the best wins of her short career, taking down former French Open champion and twenty-second seed Francesca Schiavone. Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki continued to struggle with knee injuries and fell in the first-round to Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 6-2.
Matches of the Day – Day 3
1. Xavier Malisse vs. John Isner
After defending his title at the Winston-Salem Open last week, John Isner should be full of confidence as he heads into the last Grand Slam of the year. Isner has shown this year that he can not only trouble, but can beat, the world’s very best players, including Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Isner seemed to have a mid-season mini-slump after a very good start to the year, but he seems back on track on the North American hard-courts. Veteran Xavier Malisse is a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and the Belgian will make Isner work hard for the win, but the American’s serve should propel him to victory. Isner in 4.
2. Laura Robson vs. Kim Clijsters
Playing the last tournament of her career at the venue where she has enjoyed the most success, Kim Clijsters will be looking to finish up with another fine performance at Flushing Meadows. A multitude of injuries have derailed Clijsters this year, and as a result the Belgian hasn’t been able to get up the match fitness to really challenge the world’s top players.
Clijsters should have too much experience and guile for the emerging Brit Robson, who won a silver medal in London in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray, but I’m not sure how far Clijsters can go in this tournament, particularly as she is in a very difficult section of the draw. Clijsters in 2.
3. Kevin Anderson vs. David Ferrer
With Rafael Nadal out injured, fourth seed David Ferrer is both Spain’s biggest hope for the title and an honorary member of the “Big 4” in the men’s game. Ferrer has had another super year on tour, and I love the way he approaches all of his matches with the utmost tenacity.
Kevin Anderson is a big-serving, hard-hitting player who has been hovering in or around the world’s top 30 for a couple of years now. The South African has the raw power to wipe Ferrer off the court, but the clever Spaniard is likely to wear down his more powerful opponent with his speed and consistency. Ferrer in 4.
4. Ernests Gulbis vs. Tommy Haas
Former world number 2 Tommy Haas is enjoying something of a renaissance in the twilight of his career, with a string of good performances sending his ranking back up to 21 in the world. Haas’ commitment to the sport and strong work ethic should be a clear example to the talented but erratic Latvian Ernests Gulbis.
Gulbis has a career high ranking of 21, but is currently languishing outside the world’s top 100 after a poor season. For a player of Gulbis’ abilities, that is a major disappointment. Gulbis could do anything in this match, but form suggests a comfortable win for Haas. Haas in 4.
5. Andy Murray vs. Ivan Dodig
Andy Murray looked sluggish in his opening round match of the tournament, and the Scot will want to put in a more polished performance in this second round encounter. Since winning the gold medal in London, Murray hasn’t set the world on fire with his tennis, but perhaps he has been focused on this tournament.
Ivan Dodig has been ranked as high as 32 in the world, but an inconsistent season has seen his ranking plummet to outside the world’s top 100. Dodig is the sort of player who Murray would systematically dismantle at his best, and I’m predicting a much improved performance from the third seed. Murray in 3.
Put your house on: Women’s top seed Victoria Azarenka to make short work of Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens.
Upset alert: Ernests Gulbis has the talent to upset Tommy Haas (as detailed above), while Cedrik-Marcel Stebe has a chance to oust the twenty-ninth seed from Serbia, Viktor Troicki.
Likely to go the distance: Michael Llodra and Philipp Kohlschreiber are likely to battle their way into a fifth set in their clash today. I’ll take Kohlschreiber to get the win.
That’s it for today. Enjoy the tennis and I’ll be back with another serve tomorrow.