Thursday, 29 August 2013

US Open day 4: Can Pennetta upset Errani?

Upset of the previous day:

Zheng Jie def. Venus Williams 6-3 2-6 7-6(5)

It wasn't an upset per se, but it was certainly upsetting to see Venus giving her all only to come up short. Zheng played well but the match was really on Venus' racket. Fighting with all her heart, Venus came back from a set down deficit and a 0-3 score in the third set. However, she missed the crucial backhand volley at 5-all and that seemed to deflate her, as she sent a tame serve out. Pity as Venus was in great form against Flipkens and had a good chance of going far. Nevertheless, the Chinese must be congratulated for her pace absorbing play, who always seem to trouble the top players.

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Flavia Pennetta vs. Sara Errani

An all Italian clash between the current and former top Italian player, Pennetta will look to show who's the better hard court player. The veteran has always played her best tennis on the US hardcourts, even capturing Carlsbad a few years ago and reaching the quarter-finals, giving Serena Williams a great fight. Errani did post a double bagel result in her first round, but it was mostly due to Rogowska's woeful play rather than her own. Does Pennetta stand a chance? Definitely. But the concern for Flavia is whether she can maintain that level for the whole match.

Pick: Errani in 3 long drawn sets

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Peng Shuai

Kuznetsova wins a match for a change. Could it be the start of her resurgence again? Well, she faces a tough opponent in Peng Shuai, who can hit a mean flat ball and can cause an upset here if she's not careful. Kuznetsova just has to play her game and it should be enough. However, she needs to be punished for wearing that hideous outfit. The color combination is akin to an orange turned mouldy. Just for that, she deserves to lose a set.

Pick: Kuznetsova in 3 sets

Daniela Hantuchova vs. Victoria Duval

Daniela Hantuchova must have prayed to the right god. Her passage to the later rounds have been paved for her following the upsets of Petrova and Stosur. Duval played well against the Aussie, but there will be a letdown following such a high. Besides, Samantha was just absolutely dire in her match, so she made things easier for the young American. With years of experience, Hantuchova stands a good chance of subduing the youngster. That is if her mind can handle it.

Pick: Hantuchova in 2 set

Alison Riske vs. Mona Barthel

Mona Barthel finally wins a Grand Slam match to advance to the 2nd round. She faces the in form Alison Riske, who carried her grass court form over to the US hard courts. The big serving American has a chance against the volatile German, who seems to lose when she is expected to win. With the home crowd behind her, the American can cause the upset here if she plays to her normal standards.

Pick: Riske in 3 sets

Kaia Kanepi vs. Anna Schmiedlova

Kaia Kanepi mysteriously skipped all the US Open warm up events and came to New York without much match play. Still, she managed to outlast Vania King to win a tight 3 setter. This might indicate she's still carrying an injury and doesn't want to aggrevate it in smaller events. Pity as the Estonian can play some mean tennis, but is always sidelined when she is hitting her stride. She faces a relatively unknown player, Anna Schmiedlova. However, given how much match play she has, you have to favour the Slovakian, who is getting some kind of breakthrough recently.

Pick: Schiedlova in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Sabine Lisicki, Yaroslava Shvedova
Upset alert: Sorana Cirstea, Mona Barthel, Kaia Kanepi, Angelique Kerber, Hsieh Su-Wei

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