Day 3, Live from the U.S Open – Around the Grounds!

Wow, what a day! A long one but well worth it! This is why I came to NYC baby!! I have said it before but this is unquestionably my favourite slam! Now I have the time on my hands, I’m lapping it up, like a pig in sh*t! Someone please show some compassion and give me this lifestyle! Though I have been to finals weekend back in 2008, I have wanted to visit Flushing Meadows during the first week for a reason! The atmosphere always looks live, late night matches under the lights, plenty of banter and the ticket availability smashes Wimbledon in straights! I had a ticket for the Louis Armstrong but with so much going on I also found myself on Court 10, The Grandstand and Court 17! waman!

It all kicked off with Kyrgios v Millman today, joining it late in the third! Within five points I saw Nick destroy his racket, lose the set and with it the match in truth. The crowd got on his back a little bit and you could hear critical comments being bounded around the stadium! I’m pretty sure he’s not bothered! He checked out in the fourth, but it is clear that the shoulder injury was hampering him once again. Some thought it was a lack of effort/tanking! Millman has had his own injury concerns, having come back from surgery himself not that long ago. He was far too steady for Kyrgios, who due to circumstances was going for a winner whenever the strings connected with the ball!

Next up on the Armstrong was Vandeweghe against Alison Riske. Like the first match, two fellow countrymen/women facing off! It did in fact initially look like it would be a similar story here as well. Coco came out misfiring and Riske looked too solid, running away with the first 6/2. Coco pulled it together in the second, finding her range to level it up. At the start of the third Riske relinquished her serve immediately after breaking, on two occasions and when Vandeweghe hits a hot patch you’re trouble! In her on court interview after she said,”the chair umpire sucked”, in reference to some early line calls! Gotta love Coco innit! Vandeweghe in 3!

A trip over to Court 10 saw me engaged in the Sachia Vickery v Sofia Kenin encounter! Now, we know I’m a bit of a fan of the tenacious Sachia! She should have won today, missing two match points! What was interesting here was that Vickery looked to be struggling with her leg from early in the first, but it was Kenin who had the trainer out first! Blatant gamesmanship from Kenin and it has to be stopped! Everyone knew it, not just Sasch! We have a mini Sharapova on our hands, bellowing “come on’s” etc all match and at times inappropriately! You can guess what I think too that! Gutted for Sachia and the fact Kenin was behaving like this when they live five miles apart and practice together, makes me wonder what she would be like if she didn’t know her opponent! A very cold handshake at the end unsurprisingly! Oh, and she actually plays the Russian next for good measure! Think I am busy actually.

I wanted to see a bit of Isner v Chung, but the Vickery match going to a final set breaker put pay to that! Isner took out Chung in straights! But then again Sloane v Cibulkova was after Sasch anyway so it was always going to be difficult as I wanted to watch that too. Sloane was superb today apart from a collapse at 6/2 4/1*! Finding herself a break down in the decider. She raised her level as she has done of late and the aggression and movement were class, it has to be to beat Bulky. The crowd really getting their teeth into this one, Stephens has rightly made people take note on return from injury. Some big hitting on show here and Sloane held her nerve to serve it out.

I then made the trip over to the Grandstand to watch Garbine Muguruza v Ying-Ying Duan. Duan came out hitting big here and this looked like it was going to be a close contest that could have turned quite uncomfortable for the Spaniard. Breaking at 4/4 and then holding a long next game for the set sealed it though. She bageled her opponent in the second as Duan’s level dropped! Very solid from Muguruza and it’s apparently her first appearance in the third round here! During this ,I could hear a hell of a commotion from court 8 where there was yet more crowd participation, I had to investigate. A very rowdy lot, consisting of chants of “Radu, Radu, Radu” from some fired up Moldovans and chants of “luuuuuuuuuu” from other sections! Albot ended up beating Yen-Hsun Lu in a final set breaker as he fell to his feet after victory! The Moldovan set for his first 3rd round outing at a Grand Slam, making it through qualies initially here!

I finished off by watching the last set of Wozniacki v Makarova. The Russian was superb here, really taking the ball on and pulling Woz all over the gaff! Sounds like she should have won in straights. The crowd was very pro the Dane, but when Makarova is hitting like this there is little Woz’s game can do to hurt her. Very impressive from what I saw! 6/2 6/7 6/1.

Elsewhere, there was a big upset in the men’s Sascha Zverev came up short and lost in 4 sets to Borna Coric! Still plenty of time for the German, but this will be disappointing nonetheless. Especially in losing to another next gen opponent! Let us not forget the talent Coric has at the same time! Denis Shapovalov upset J-W Tsonga and Leo Mayer beat Richard Gasquet. Winners included Cilic, Thiem, Dimitrov, Monfils, Berdych, Del Potro, Pouille, Bautista Agut, the lad Schwartzman and Kyle Edmund took out Steve Johnson in straights!

In the Ladies, Venus beat Oceane Dodin in the night session, other winners included Kvitova, Svitolina, Kuznetsova, CSN, Rybarikova and Lucie Safarova beat Anett Kontaveit. The main casualty was Kiki Mladenovic who lost to Monica Niculescu. CiCi Bellis also lost to Nao Hibino, this will also hurt the young American who would have been expecting to win this round!

Night Session for me on the Arthur Ashe tomorrow! Coco followed by Rafa!

Andy Del Potro

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