For the recap of Day 3 men’s action, click here
Three more top seeds fell, Serena moves one step closer to a calendar year Slam and Americans shine on Day 3.
Who looked good:
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (def. Ivanovic 6-4 6-3)
The flamboyant American has been beset by injury and fitness issues, but was at her very best in taking out 7th seed Ana Ivanovic. The colorful Mattek-Sands was proficient at net (29/38 for 76%), struck 32 winners, and took 3 of her 4 break chances. Halfway to a calendar year Slam in doubles, she served notice in singles with this performance.
Coco Vandeweghe (def. Ka. Pliskova 7-6 6-4)
In a battle of big servers, the American hit 15 aces and lost just 6 points on her first serve in upsetting 11th seed Karolina Pliskova. The Czech didn’t play all that badly, but was outdueled by a superior player on the day who put in a fine performance.
Lucie Safarova (def. Hsieh 6-3 6-2)
The French Open finalist continues to fly under the radar and, in handling her overmatched opponent today, put in a typically solid effort with 22/26 first serve points won and 24 winners. A semifinalist here last year, it would surprise no one to see the 6th seed reach that stage again.
Who looked bad:
Belinda Bencic (d. Friedsam 7-5 4-6 6-0)
Although she won and with a bagel in the final set, the emerging Swiss star struggled. Looking a bit sluggish with a possible slight injury, the 30th seed could barely handle her German opponent’s serve at times. As the U.S. Open quarterfinalist moves through the draw provided her injury is not too severe, she will have to get back to her normally solid, consistent best if she hopes to repeat her breakout performance from last summer in New York.
Venus Williams (def. Putintseva 7-6 6-4)
Although the 5-time champion is through to Round 3, her performance was shaky at best. Looking slow-footed moving around the court, struggling on serve, and getting doubled up on forehand winners, the elder Williams has a lot to improve on as a showdown with sister Serena looms.
Ana Ivanovic (l. to Mattek-Sands 6-4 6-3)
The 7th seed was a victim of a brilliant performance by her opponent today. Still, the Serb remains as inconsistent as ever and was unable to build on her semifinal run at the French Open.
Match of The Day:
Elizaveta Kulichkova def. Yanina Wickmayer 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 10-8
The Russian and Belgian resumed their match after being deadlocked at a set all and 1-all in the 3rd set when darkness struck. Once resumed, Kulichkova progressed to a Round 2 matchup with Madison Keys, but not before her and the former U.S. Open semifinalist combined for a +24 winners to unforced errors ratio and both winning nearly 80% of their first serve points. Kulichkova won 2 fewer total points (119-117), but made the 2nd Round of a Slam for the first time in her career.
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