Top Two Seeds In Women’s Draw, Pliskova and Kenin Lose
(August 23, 2020) The top two women’s seeds are already out at the Western & Southern Open, being played at the US Open.
Unseeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova had a career best win when she knocked out top seed and world No. 3 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-4 on Sunday night.
The World No.41 rallied from 4-1 down in the first set and won the last three games of the match to clinch the win over the top seed to reach the third round.
“I tried to not think about the score. I tried to fight, tried to continue play like every ball, tried to enjoy like I play in the big stadium against first-seeded,” Kudermetova said in her news conference.
“I know she really good player. I need to just keep working every point. I have like good chance because I play yesterday. She played just first match.
“I feel a little bit more good condition than she. I think it was maybe a little bit key of this match.”
This was her third career win over a top 10 player. She beat Belinda Bencic in Wuhan and Elina Svitolina in her home country in Moscow.
“She played couple matches already, couple tournaments,” noted Pliskova. “I think she played something before in Europe, I think Prague or something.
“I thought I started quite well, actually. She was missing a lot. I think she improved during the match, during the first set, and I was just couple points here and there.
“I think the first set I should serve much better. I thought actually I had a lot of mistakes on the return. Of course she played well. I thought she just was going for it.
“She won quite a tough match in the first round, so I think definitely she had nothing to lose today. She was playing free. She was playing quite good tennis. But it was not that I could not win this match.
“It was the good feeling right now,” the Russian added. “I can compete with the best players. And today I win. I’m really happy.” This is just Kudermetova’s second appearance at the Western & Southern Open.
France’s Alizé Cornet almost let a 6-1, 5-2, 40-15 slip, but fought off Australian Open winner and second seed Sofia Kenin 6-1, 7-6(7), saving set points in the second set to move into the round of 16 in one hour and 43 minutes.
“At one point in the match, it became a nightmare,” said Cornet. “Because I was so in control, I was playing so well. I was applying the tactic perfectly. I was playing good tennis, no mistakes. Everything was going well. 6-1, 5-2, 40-15.
“And suddenly, I don’t know what happened, she saved the match point, and then I got tight. I started double faulting. I started not releasing my forehand anymore, being really shaky with my forehand.
“Yeah, it turned around because she’s a great player. She’s a Grand Slam winner. She didn’t let go her chance.
“But what I’m really proud of is my resilience. You know, I stayed in the fight. I took it to the tiebreak and finally won the match.
“Mentally it was not easy, so, yeah, I’m proud of this. But phoof, at 6-5 down in the second, I was, like, No, that cannot happen. Why am I playing tennis? This is a crazy sport. And so many other thoughts but you don’t want to know.”
“It wasn’t easy,” said the American Kenin. “Obviously it didn’t feel like I had any rhythm. I don’t know why I let that happen. I felt like I was playing well.
“Of course she was playing well, so I’m not taking any creds from her. I literally couldn’t feel the ball, like literally two sets. I don’t even know how I came back, to be honest. I just really didn’t feel my game at all today.”
Cornet will play either two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka or Caroline Garcia next.
In addition to the top two women’s upsets, two men’s seeds lost – No. 10 Andrey Rublev, fell 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 to Daniel Evans and No. 13 Cristian Garin, lost 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-0 to Aljaz Bedene.
Men’s winners included No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 7 David Goffin, No. 9 Diego Schwartzman, No. 16 John Isner No. 11 seed Karen Khachanov, and American qualifier Marcos Giron.
Women’s winners included No. 12 seed Anett Kontaveit, No. 14 Elise Mertens, American qualifier CiCi Bellis and Jessica Pegula, who beat last week’s Lexington winner Jennifer Brady.
More to follow….