It was very pleasing that Serena turned it around against Sloane. I was thinking after the first set, the tell-tale signs were there. One of those days where Sloane is being very solid, even the shanks were dropping on the line and Serena was miss-firing and the errors were coming. Sloane always represents a tough match and this was never going to ever be any different. The player’s levels flipped though for sets two and three and Rena was serving well and striking the forehand pretty well thereafter. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think we were in trouble for a while though. She has a chance to get her revenge over Maria Sakkari, having lost in ‘Cincy’ recently. It is lovely to see Olympia watching mum, it makes it even more special without the crowds.
Madison Keys retired against Alize Cornet. A tight first set went the way of Cornet, whos form looks to have got better through the rounds. Keys had an issue with her neck and retired midway through the second. Cornet will face Tsvetana Pironkova in the last 16. The Bulgarian crushed an out of sorts Donna Vekic 6/4 6/1 and she is enjoying time back on tour without any ‘pressure’ since becoming a mother and using her protected ranking to the full. The latter was a major factor in her return by the sounds of it. Great effort from her after being away for so long.
Vika Azarenka looked to be in trouble early on in her encounter against Iga Swiatek. The Pole started off really well and I thought Vika was in for a tough night. You can imagine my surprise after dozing off to find out Vika had turned the first set around and won 6/4 6/2. There were eleven breaks in the match and Azarenka has said she will be practicing her serve over the next few days. Karolina Muchova is her next opponent. Sorana Cirstea served for it in the third yesterday and lead 6-3 in the final set breaker. Muchova played some outstanding tennis to turn it around by all account.
Finally, in the women’s, second seed Sofia Kenin was on the verge of being a double break down in the opener against Ons Jabeur but won 7/6 6/3. She is very happy with her form at the moment but said that she was cramping after the match. Mertens is a player that will be testing that in the next round if true. The points will be a bit more punishing on the body against the Belgian.
In the men’s, Daniil Medvedev is still yet to drop a set after having too much in all departments for the young American, Jeffrey John Wolf. Very professional from Medvedev again and he says he is feeling as confident as he was last year. That is good news on that front for the Russian and if you have backed him. Frances Tiafoe will play him on Monday for a place in the last 8. He tore Marton Fucsovics apart having gone in as a slight underdog. The forehand being the biggest weapon on-court from reports.
Matteo Berrettini and Andrey Rublev continue to also be on fire in the same quarter as Medvedev. Berrettini wasting little time in outpowering Casper Ruud and Rublev gave Salvatore Caruso a lesson, which included two bagels. They play each other at the same stage as they did last year and it should be an absolute cracker. The Italian dominated with his power last time, will the same happen again?
I was obviously disappointed to see Roberto Bautista Agut lose but hardly surprised. With the way Pospisil has been playing and the outside courts playing slightly faster, this was a worry going into the match. At two sets to one, you wondered weathered the Spaniard had weathered the storm but Pospisil just cut down on any errors. The Canadian says he is nursing an abdominal and thigh strain but he is playing some outstanding tennis and managing the injuries. With the conditions as they are he will really like his chances against Alex De Minaur. The Aussie having an uncharacteristic mid-match dip against Karen Khachanov but winning in five.
Dominic Thiem will play Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last 16. This could be a cracker too. Thiem beat Marin Cilic in four and FAA dismantled Corentin Moutet, who looked slightly off it after his win over Evo. Having said that it was really impressive from Felix. I have said that he isn’t a great five-set player yet, so no better way to get the job done than in straights. There is a clear improvement on that front now, no doubt about it. That will still be the biggest challenges against Thiem for him though.
Onto day seven.
Andy Del Potro.