There were times today when it appeared 2 of the top 5 seeds on the women’s side might be in danger of exiting in the first round of the 2014 US Open. Simona Halep came into Flushing Meadow with a career high #2 ranking. That did not frighten 2014 NCAA Singles Champion Danielle Rose Collins from the University of Virginia. The American Collins came out going for her shots in a match that opened the day session on Arthur Ashe Stadium court. In what was supposed to be an easy first round match, Halep found herself losing the first set 6-7 (2). Mind you, for all of her success the past year or so, Simona was bounced out of New Haven last week in her first match by Magdalena Rybarikova. Would this be another quick departure? No. Halep pulled things together enough to right the ship and win going away 6-7 (2) 6-1 6-2. Simona is a favorite here to challenge for the title, but she needs to clean up the errors posthaste. Her 7 double faults might not have been manageable against a more experienced player.
It was an all-Russian, all-Maria affair on Arthur Ashe to open the night session at this fortnight. Maria Sharapova took on the comebacking Maria Kirilenko, who has barely played a handful of matches this year, missing the first 3 months and having not played since Wimbledon. You wouldn’t have known it early in the first set as Kirilenko jumped out in front, holding a 4-2 advantage. Sharapova can at times throw in a clunker of a match and Kirilenko has beaten her before. But not this time. From 2-4 down, Sharapova ran off the final 10 games of the match, in the process dropping a bagel on Kirilenko, 6-2 6-0.
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2 SIMONA HALEP (won 6-7 (2) 6-1 6-2 vs Danielle Rose Collins)
4 AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA (won 6-1 6-0 vs Sharon Fichman)
5 MARIA SHARAPOVA (won 6-4 6-0 vs Maria Kirilenko)
6 ANGELIQUE KERBER (won 6-2 3-6 7-5 vs Ksenia Pervak)
9 JELENA JANKOVIC (won 6-2 6-3 vs Bojana Jovanovski)