Early play at the US Open in New York on Thursday found one upset, as Aliaksandra Sasnovich, a perennial qualifier in Premier tournaments and slams, upset the Russian, 6-2, 7-6. For Sasnovich, whose high water mark was this year’s fourth round at Wimbledon, she will try to keep her US Open magic alive when she meets Naomi Osaka on Saturday.
Osaka was efficient in the morning heat, needing just 50 minutes on court to dismantle an injured Julia Glushko. In press, she talked about the fine line of deciding to go aggressive or play it safe with each shot.
“You win more if you play safe,” she said. “I would say it’s fun to take the chances when you’re feeling good, like, when you know it’s not 50/50, more like 70/30. So I sort of have to hold myself back on the days I don’t feel good. That’s a little bit hard for me.”
Aryna Sabalenka has been called out for dead–“hit the wall”–by the commentators on US Open Radio in both matches she’s played here. The first time was when she lost the second set to Danielle Collins and today they were at it again in the second set when the Belarusian made a couple of unforced errors. The commies were wrong both times. Sabalenka beat 2010 Flushing Meadows finalist Vera Zvonareva, 6-2, 7-6 to earn a date with Petra Kvitova, and probably her first distinguished court assignment.
It’s funny, because I thought this was going to be a tournament of upsets on the women’s side after Simona Halep went out in the first 90 minutes of the tournament on Monday. Since then, other than Kasatkina today and Muguruza last night, things are shaping up nicely with many marquee players into the weekend. Kerber’s currently in a battle with Johanna Larsson, but there’s plenty of stars left to produce a great second week of women’s tennis.