US Open 2013 – week 1, Saturday

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A couple more surprises yesterday with Del Potro falling to Hewitt and Baghdatis knocking out Anderson in straight sets.

 

When is Halep going to get tired? She lost her opening set of the tournament to Heather Watson but has looked very solid since. There were signs in her last match of fatigue though and while she starts as favourite against Kirilenko.

Kirilenko hasn’t been 100% but so far in this tournament she hasn’t been troubled.

They have never played before. Kirilenko’s stats this week are much stronger though she has faced weaker opponents. I feel she will need Halep to have a poor match for her to have a chance.

Halep is getting herself a reputation for playing the big matches well ( with the exception of her match against Serena ). She has only once been to the third round of a slam before this week ( Australian Open 2011 ) and her new found confidence has her pushing for a top 10 place. You can bet her ambitions extend to performing well at the biggest events and I expect her to find a way to get the win today.

Halep to win in 3 sets.

Update: Surprisingly easy for Halep 6-1, 6-0.

 

I am sure Julia Glushko never expected to be in the 3rd round of the US Open. She has played well but has been fortunate with the draw. Of course others have had easy draws are weren’t able to take the chance ( yes I’m thinking about YOU Mr Gulbis! ). Petrova wasn’t in great shape and wild card Vick is ranked 238th.

Glushko had to make her way through the qualifying rounds as well where she beat Rodionova and Dubois who can be a tricky opponent.

In the last round Hantuchova came up against giant-killer Duval who had dumped out Stosur earlier this week. Duval’s head was clearly all over the place even before the match started and she came onto court without her glasses! When she had retrieved them from the locker room and returned to court Hantuchova used her experience to keep Duval waiting at the net for what seemed like an eternity.

We can expect Hantuchova to use every ounce of her experience again today although it won’t be quite as easy to mess with Glushko’s head.

I think we will see close sets and a 3 setter isn’t impossible. Glushko has served very well this week and has held serve 86% of the time. Hantuchova’s holds have been at an excellent 68% and her return of serve numbers are stronger.

Hantuchova in 3 sets.

Update: 3 sets as expected but I didn’t expect it to go to a tie break in the 3rd!

Hantuchova won 3-6, 7-5, 7-6.

 

Tipsarevic at 1.46 is a scary situation at the best of times. Does a straight sets win over Dudi Sela mean he is back to anything approaching his top 10 form? No it doesn’t.

Sock was put under real pressure by clay courter Gonzalez in the last round. Sock wasn’t feeling great physically which was clear from his body language and the fact that he was broken far more often that you might expect. It wasn’t until Sock started coming to the net more often that he was able to turn things around.

I think Tipsarevic take this but he will trade a lot higher. Backing him a break or a set down is a good option.

Update: Perfect! Sock took the opening set. Tipsarevic won the next 3.

Tipsarevic won 3-6, 7-6, 6-1, 6-2.

 

Gasquet is too short at 1.42 against Tursunov though I do expect him to win. Gasquet’s recent losses have been to top players and usually loses in the 4th round of slams, not the third!

Tursunov leads the head to heads 5-2 but they haven’t played in the last 3 seasons. He has played a lot of tennis in recent weeks and before Rufin retired in the last round Tursunov had needed to save a shed load of break points.

Tursunov will start the quicker as he will be wanting a short match but Gasquet will come through in 4 or 5 sets. I’ll be backing Gasquet a set down.

Update: Tursunov quit mid game when he was 2-1 and a break behind.

Gasquet won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 4-2(ret)

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