Ana Ivanovic, the tournaments 8th seed, was dispatched ruthlessly in straight sets by Karolina Pliskova yesterday. The upset clears another hurdle out of Serena's path, leaving Flavia Pennetta as the highest remaining seed in Serena's quarter. American Sam Querrey upended the 28th seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in straight sets; Querrey moves on to a 3rd round date with Novak Djokovic. Samantha Stosur, the women's 24th seed and former US Open champion, was sent packing by Kaia Kanepi in three sets. Former NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs pulled off an upset as well, knocking out the 23rd seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Twenty-seventh seeded Madsion Keys also turned in a disappointing result, losing to qualifier Aleksandra Krunic in three sets. Former top-ten player and 31st seed Fernando Verdasco lost too, falling in five sets to Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia.
Philipp Kohlschreiber and Kei Nishikori were both beneficiaries of early retirements from their opponents. Michael Llodra retired after losing the first set to Kohlschreiber while Pablo Andujar pulled the plug after dropping the first two sets to Nishikori. The short match could prove to be a double-edged sword for Nishikori, who's coming into the Open with some lingering health concerns. On the one hand, the short match will give him more of a chance to rest up and stay healthy. On the other hand, his match play preparation was already cut short and things are set to get tougher for him soon with Raonic possibly looming down the road in the quarterfinals.
Speaking of retirement…
Today's two retirements bring us up to eight on the men's side, and ten total. That's the most at the US Open since 2011 when 11 men retired and 4 women retired from their matches.
Victor Estrella Burgos—who we recognized on Tuesday as the oldest US Open debutant at 34—faced off yesterday against Borna Coric of Croatia, who also made his US Open Debut on Tuesday. At 17 years-old, Coric is exactly half the age of his opponent. In this case, experience trumped youth and Estrella Burgos came out with a four-set win.
American Coco Vandeweghe received a racquet abuse warning yesterday after smacking the net with her racquet. Trailing 2-5 in the second set, Coco let chair umpire Fiona Edwards know that she was unhappy with the warning, calling Edwards "bush league" and "freshman level." She then threw her racquet out onto the court during the changeover and later refused to shake the umpire's hand at the conclusion of the match.
16th seeded Tommy Robredo looked like he was in a world of trouble in his second round match, trailing Simone Bolelli two sets to none. Then, in the third set, Robredo got a little inadvertent help from the crowd when someone made an out call, causing Bolelli to stop playing. After arguing with the umpire, Bolelli was forced to concede the point, handing Robredo a break. Robredo went on to win the match in five sets, and will advance to face Nick Kyrgios in the third round.
Speaking of Robredo…
With his win yesterday, Robredo extended his career five set record to 15-4, which is good enough for seventh on the all-time list. Players ahead of Robredo include tennis legends like Bill Tilden and Bjorn Borg.
Teen sensation CiCi Bellis' Cinderella run came to an end last night with a three set loss to Zarina Diyas. Still, Bellis showed that she can compete at the top level, though at 15 she probably isn't ready for the everyday grind of the tour. Hopefully the presence of a strong crop of young American female players can help insulate Bellis from pressure while she takes time to grow up as a person and a tennis player.