Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 2 of the 2021 US Open.
What are you most proud of?
It’s an easy question, right? What are you most proud of? Of all the things you accomplished over the past year+, can you name the things you’re most proud of? It’s a simple question but that’s the thing about simple questions, right? Sometimes, those simple questions are the most complicated to answer.
Anyway, we say all this because of what the great Naomi Osaka shared on her socials over the weekend.
— NaomiOsaka????? (@naomiosaka) August 29, 2021
In short, we say all this to say this: never forget to celebrate your small victories. Because truly in this world, in the year of our lord 2021, there are no small victories. We’re living stressful daily lives in the middle of a pandemic that’s killed millions around the world, all the while our species is actively destroying the only planet capable of hosting us humans and any living organism…so any victory is a major victory. Celebrating just getting out of bed in the morning, none of it is guaranteed.
And by all means, celebrate watching the US Open every day of the next two weeks.
Day 2 preview
Once again, we’ll close today’s post with a quick run through three of the best matches on the day 2 schedule. As usual, you can see the day’s full slate right here.
Court 17: Arantxa Rus vs Belinda Bencic  (Second match of the day)
Who else is looking forward to seeing the latest and newest singles gold medalist in women’s tennis back in action? Watching the Swiss Belinda Bencic capture the biggest title of her career was undeniably a highlight of this year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Now she gets to showcase what she’s capable of on tour. If her return was a success when she made the quarterfinals at the 2021 Western & Southern Open, the US Open is another beast entirely. For what it’s worth, Bencic made the semifinals at her last participation in Flushing Meadows. No pressure.
Court 17: Federico Coria vs Gael Monfils  (Third match of the day)
Look, there are admittedly better and more compelling matches on the slate but we’re going for variety here. And if we have a mere trio of matches to highlight, then there will be tough choices to make. If we’re rolling with this fairly underwhelming match, it’s strictly because of Gael Monfils and how interesting and entertaining he is when he’s as motivated as he is these days. Don’t believe us? Look below.
Arthur Ashe Stadium: Viktorija Golubic vs Bianca Andreescu  (Second match of the night)
Finally, Canadian Bianca Andreescu is back on the sport’s biggest stage ready to defend the crown that made her a household name back in 2019. She beat Serena Williams back then, we remember and watched it happen live in our living room. This is a thing that really happened. In the two years since, Andreescu has battled injuries and, like literally every single person in the world, the pandemic as she’s fought her way to rather timid results on the WTA. Somehow she’s still seeded No. 6 in Flushing Meadows.
You gotta love the protected rankings.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG