Ah, the luck of the draw. It affects the players the most, obviously. But it also affects the fans. With each passing tournament, Naomi Osaka of Japan is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. As much as I am a fan of American Coco Vandeweghe, I was very happy to see Naomi upset the 28th seed in round 1 of the 2016 US Open. I was even happier to see Osaka take out Yingying Duan of China on day 3 in round 2. There are only two or three players in the women’s singles draw for whom I would root against Naomi in round 3. Unfortunately, not only does she face one of those select few, she faces my favorite active player, the 8th seeded American Madison Keys. Maddie blew through 16-year old Kayla Day 6-1 6-1 in impressive fashion. Don’t feel too badly for Kayla. She won the 18 and under Nationals. As a 16-year old, this was a learning experience. She looks to have the power and variety of shot to be another great young American player in a few years. Right now, she just isn’t a match for Keys. We will see if Naomi Osaka is or not.
The post-Roland Garros 2016 slump continues for Garbine Muguruza of Spain. With all due respect to Anastasija Sevastova, giving her full credit for her 7-5 6-4 win, Mugu didn’t look good early on in the 2016 US Open first round against Belgium’s Elise Mertens. Garbi pulled away in the second and third sets. Against the Latvian Sevastova in round 2, it was like watching a completely different player than the one who reigned in Paris. Again, she seems to be channeling her inner Li Na (or maybe Ana Ivanovic) at the moment. Like those two, I hope Garbi eventually pulls herself out of this tailspin. She has the total package on and off the court to be a superstar in the sport.
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8 MADISON KEYS d. Kayla Day, 6-1 6-1
3 GARBINE MUGURUZA lost to Anastasija Sevastova, 5-7 4-6
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI d. 9 Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-4 6-4
CATHERINE BELLIS d. Shelby Rogers, 2-6 6-2 6-2
14 PETRA KVITOVA d. Cagla Buyukakcay, 7-6 (2) 6-3
NAOMI OSAKA d. Yingying Duan, 6-4 7-6 (3)