Maria Sharapova Survives 2011 US Open 1st Round, Petra Kvitova Doesn’t; Christina McHale Wins

Maria Sharapova

With high expectations that she might be one of the players that could give Serena Williams a fight at the 2011 US Open, Maria Sharapova almost had the fight knocked out of her by rising British player, and Xperia Hot Shot, Heather Watson. Heather had no expectations coming in and played loose, going for her shots. Did Masha have some unforced errors and double faults? Yes, but not a huge amount more than she sometimes has in three set matches. Also, some of those “unforced errors” could be considered forced by Heather running down shot after shot and making Masha go for more. It was so apparent that one of the commentators noted that Masha looked like she was trying to win 2 points with 1 shot. After shocking the entire stadium by winning the first set 6-3, Heather broke Masha immediately in the second set. Suddenly, there was an upset brewing. Sharapova broke back  and showed why she is considered such a fighter. She had a tussle on her hands and she did not back down. Even as the match moved into the third set, where Masha is undefeated this year, Heather did not go away even after falling behind early. Masha is fortunate that she squeaked by 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Petra Kvitova

Not so fortunate on day 1 was the woman who conquered Sharapova in the 2011 Wimbledon final, Petra Kvitova. While Masha had an opponent in Heather Watson playing out of her mind, Petra Kvitova was giving away points.Yes, Masha had 58 unforced errors, but as I said some of those were not really “unforced” and furthermore, those were over 3 sets and were countered by 41 winners by Sharapova. Kvitova, on the other hand, had 52 unforced errors, which were truly sprayed shots, over only 2 sets. And unlike Masha, Petra’s 20 winners were not enough to mitigate all of the mistakes. I believe Kvitova will win multiple Majors in her career, but on this day she made dubious history, as the first reigning Wimbledon champion in the Open era to lose in the first round of the US Open.

Christina McHale

Following the win earlier in the day by young American Madison Keys, another young American showed signs that American tennis (at least on the women’s side) may have a few rising stars. Christina McHale used a big, improving power game, particularly off the forehand side where she really cracks her reverse forehand, to take down Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, 6-3 6-7 (4) 6-4. She showed a little frustration with herself, as she had opportunities to take Wozniak out in two sets but let it slip away. Christina recovered from that setback to finally close Wozniack out in 3 sets. Not only did she win, she showed the ability to adapt. After Wozniak started to get the rhythm of Christina’s groundstrokes a bit, McHale started to give her shots some more air and high bounces. Aleksandra wasn’t able to adjust to this tact as Christina took back control of the match. This is what separates young Americans Keys and McHale at the moment. Keys has bigger weapons, particularly her serve and forehand. McHale seems to have the craftier game. But I expect both to be stars of the future as they work on developing the missing elements in their games.

Singles – First Round
(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. (Q) Stéphanie Foretz Gacon (FRA) 63 60
(3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 36 75 63
Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) d. (5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 76(3) 63
(8) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (Q) Alexandra Panova (RUS) 75 63
(9) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 62 63
(12) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Urszula Radwanska (POL) 62 63
(13) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 63 64
(14) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Zhang Shuai (CHN) 63 64
(19) Julia Goerges (GER) d. Kristina Barrois (GER) 63 62
(24) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (Q) Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) 63 16 64
(25) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 46 61 76(3)
(27) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 26 63 62
(30) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. (Q) Karin Knapp (ITA) 67(4) 64 63
Venus Williams (USA) d. Vesna Dolonts (RUS) 64 63
Polona Hercog (SLO) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 61 63
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) d. Virginie Razzano (FRA) 62 63
Christina McHale (USA) d. (Q) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 63 67(5) 64
Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Patricia Mayr-Achleitner (AUT) 63 63
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 63 60
Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 63 64
Laura Pous-Tio (ESP) d. Misaki Doi (JPN) 62 67(12) 52 ret. (cramping)
Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) d. Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 76(1) 75
Irina Falconi (USA) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 36 64 62
Anastasiya Yakimova (BLR) d. (Q) Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (THA) 60 46 63
(Q) Romina Oprandi (ITA) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 60 76(7)
(Q) Laura Robson (GBR) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 76(5) 10 ret. (right shoulder injury)
(WC) Madison Keys (USA) d. (WC) Jill Craybas (USA) 62 64














One thought on “Maria Sharapova Survives 2011 US Open 1st Round, Petra Kvitova Doesn’t; Christina McHale Wins

  1. Pingback: 2011 US Open - Page 5 - LPGA Tour Forum

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