Coming into 2016, China’s Shuai Zhang, 0-14 in main draw Major singles matches, was contemplating giving up her pro tennis career and opening a coffee shop. After a quarterfinal run at the 2016 Australian Open and now moving into the 2016 US Open third round with a 6-3 6-3 win over former singles champion Samantha Stosur, Zhang’s career is starting to percolate. A tough match awaits in round 3 against Yaroslava Shvedova, but it is winnable for the top ranked active singles player from China.
I was a little concerned for Simona Halep coming into Flushing Meadow. Her first two matches, against Kirsten Flipkens and potentially Lucie Safarova, spelled a possible upset in either match. The Romanian star was able to get by both in straight sets. It gets no easier for the 5th seed as she gets 31st seed Timea Babos next and, should Simona triumph, the winner of the Carla Suarez Navarro v Elena Vesnina match. Suarez Navarro is the 11th seed and Elena Vesnina is coming off a semifinal run at Wimbledon in the previous Major. Halep is often spoken of as a future Major winner. If that happens at this tournament, she will have truly earned it.
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE
5 SIMONA HALEP d. Lucie Safarova 6-3 6-4
10 KAROLINA PLISKOVA d. Montserrat Gonzalez, 6-1 7-5
6 VENUS WILLIAMS d. Julia Goerges, 6-2 6-3
26 LAURA SIEGEMUND d. Nicole Gibbs, 6-3 7-5
SHUAI ZHANG d. 16 Samantha Stosur, 6-3 6-3