I came into the 2015 US Open with a keen eye on many players. Two, in particular, are 19th seeded American Madison Keys and 25th seeded Eugenie Bouchard. Madison is my favorite active player so naturally I want to see how far she can go and how her game is developing. She has been very impressive in her first two matches. Her 6-1 6-2 win over Tereza Smitkova was marked by great serving and a solid winner to unforced error ratio (19-11), especially for a big hitter. However, up next is a huge test in Agnieszka Radwanska. The Polish star might have slipped to a 15th seed, but make no mistake…Aga is trouble for anybody when she’s on. Futhermore, her “human backboard” style and creative shotmaking often induces errors from big hitters like Maddie when they get impatient. Keys can win, but she will need to plan on being in a lot of rallies and not go for winners too soon in those rallies.
Eugenie Bouchard’s first two rounds have been much tougher than Keys, squeezing through in a couple of tough 3-setters. But if you consider how rough Genie’s year has been, just winning matches in a Major at this point is a cause for celebration. She was ranked #5 in the world last October. Less than a year later, she’s plummeted to #25. She’s young and I believe in her talent. I think she can and will reclimb the rankings. However, she cannot commit 46 unforced errors (like she did in her 2nd round 3-set win against Polona Hercog) against her next opponent, Dominika Cibulkova. Domi already upset Ana Ivanovic in the first round and if Genie is sloppy, Cibulkova is more than capable of showing her the door.
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19 MADISON KEYS (won 6-1 6-2 vs Tereza Smitkova)
25 EUGENIE BOUCHARD (won 6-3 6-7 (2) 6-3 vs Polona Hercog)
1 SERENA WILLIAMS (won 7-6 (5) 6-3 vs Kiki Bertens)
23 VENUS WILLIAMS (won 6-3 6-7 (2) 6-2 vs Irina Falconi)
15 AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA (won 6-3 6-2 vs Magda Linnette)
12 BELINDA BENCIC (won 5-7 7-6 (3) 6-3 vs Misaki Doi)
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA (won 5-7 7-5 6-3 vs Jessica Pegula)