No. 2 Seed Wozniacki Loses at US Open, Djokovic Advances
(August 30, 2018) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY- Now both of the top women’s seeds of the US Open are out. Second seed Caroline Wozniacki lost in the second round to Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-2 in the evening match in Louis Armstrong Stadium. Simona Halep, the top seed lost on that same court on Monday to Kaia Kanepi.
Tsurenko from the Ukraine hit 20 winners to 38 unforced errors while the Dane Wozniacki hit only 6 winners, 35 unforced errors. She’ll face-off against Katerina Siniakova.
“I started off pretty well, then I think I played well in parts of the first set, just trying to stay aggressive,” said Wozniacki..
“But she was playing smarter than me. She played the game that I was supposed to be playing. She got a lot of balls back. She played with the angles. She waited for the short ball. When the short ball came, she played aggressive. She went back and kept the ball in play when she had to.
“I tried to play aggressive because I saw openings. I saw balls that I felt like I could finish off, I felt like I could hit big on. Yeah, the court is a little bit slower I think. I should have made better adjustments. I just didn’t.
“Then I was trying, you know, to play a little bit higher, maybe change the rhythm, but it just wasn’t really going my way. I think the problem also was my serve and returns weren’t great today. That kind of didn’t help me. I feel like if maybe I’d served better, I could have put more pressure on her.”
“I felt like I’d been practicing really well, playing really well for the week leading up to the tournament,” noted the Australian Open champion. “Obviously it wasn’t an ideal preparation. I usually play more matches and just kind of to get into the rhythm.
“But I felt like I did everything right under the circumstances. I just came out here today and I did my best, and it just wasn’t good enough today. She played really well, and I was trying to find everything that I could today, but it just wasn’t going that way.”
Novak Djokovic couldn’t capitalize on a match point in third set but beat American Tennys Sandgren 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 to reach the third round.
Djokovic talked about going back to his old coach Marian Vajda.
“It’s a work in progress still,” the 13-time major champion said. “We are working daily on trying to perfect the game and put it together. Obviously last couple months have been really, really good in terms of results. But we both still feel that I have lots of room for improvement.
“That’s what’s exciting about this sport and about my game in general, is that I still feel there are certain elements in my game that need some betterment. That’s why you hit the practice courts daily and try to perfect the game.”
Djokovic will take on 26th seed Richard Gasquet for a place in the round of 16.
Maria Sharapova beat Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 7-5, winning the last three straight games as Cirstead was serving for the second set at 5-4.
“I really like the way I finished the match. I obviously started it really poorly. Even though I did find myself up a break, I was making way too many double-faults and way too many errors. Yeah, just not feeling much of the game.
“But finished really strong. I think that’s what matters. Actually gives me great confidence that if I was able to play that way to come through, I have a chance in the next one.”
Seventh seeded Marin Cilic, 2014 US Open winner destroyed qualifier Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 6-2, 6-0, 6-0.
“What is great is that I had very consistent season,” said the Croatian. “Started great to the season. Had some great results. A little bit of injuries push me back. But I was feeling I would play great tennis when I would get into the form.
“Last few weeks was great. I had good tournaments in Toronto and Cincy. Opening match was not the best in the beginning, but later I found some good rhythm, and today continued to play great. Seems I’m getting into much, much better rhythm, what’s definitely making me very, very happy.
“I know that these courts here are playing well for my game. Conditions are good. Obviously we can have extremely hot days like it was last couple days. I’m just trying to focus on myself, focus on being very excited on the courts when I’m playing. I think that gives me good advantage in the matches. I’m playing good tennis, very aggressive. I hope it’s going to be working well next matches, too.”
The Croatian will play Alex de Minaur for a place in the round of 16. The Australian beat young American Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 to advance.
“I’m very happy,” said the Australian. “Especially after Wimbledon where I had an amazing run. To be able to back it up in the next major, really proud of my efforts. It shows how I’m doing things in the right direction. Just got to keep focused, keep trying to get better.” This is the second year in a row that de Minaur has reached the third round at Flushing Meadows.
Gael Monfils had to retire from his match with 21st seed Kei Nishikori due to an injured right wrist Nishikori was leading 6-2, 5-2 when the Frenchman stopped play. The 2014 US Open finalist will play 13th seed Diego Schwartzman next.
“Well, I thought I started really well, played very aggressive,” said Nishkori. “I thought I was dominating from the baseline. Everything worked well first set.
“Second, he started pretty good. I mean, second game he took some risk. You know, he was playing better. I was not struggling, but there were many rallies. I made some unforced errors, you know, got little bit tight, tight game.
“Well, unfortunately it finish for him. We always battle. Play great match all the time. So he’s, like, my rival. It’s always fun to play against him.
“It’s sad to finish like that. I mean, for me, there’s many positive things. So happy to going through.”
In other ladies play American Madison Keys stormed through countrywoman Bernarda Pera 6-4, 6-1 to reach the third round.
Last year’s runner-up will play Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia next.
The 14th seed does not have great memories of playing her next opponent losing to her at the US Open back in 2014 in the second round: “But I did play her again in Stanford a couple of years later. She was a tough opponent at the US Open that year. She played really well. I feel like then the next time I played her I figured some things out.
“I don’t totally remember how either match went as far as game plan, but that’s something I’m definitely going to look back at, both matches, and see what was working and what I need to focus on.”