A Ruud awakening: No. 8 seed falls at U.S. Open

A Ruud awakening: No. 8 seed falls at U.S. Open

Round 2 of the US Open kicks off on Wednesday, and even though the field has been cut in half, there’s still an incredible amount of tennis happening. Will we see our first high-seed upset of the tournament? Will there be another match that equals Monday’s five-set thriller between Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas? We’ll have to wait and see. 

One player we won’t see on Wednesday is Naomi Osaka. She was set to face Olga Danilovic in one of the day’s first matches, but won in a walkover after Danilovic withdrew due to illness. So Osaka has automatically advanced to Round 3, but the downside is that we don’t get to see her play tennis again until at least Friday. 

No. 8 Casper Ruud defeated by unseeded Botic van de Zandschulp

Casper Ruud, seeded 8th at the US Open and ranked 11 in the world in men’s singles, has been upset by the unseeded Botic van de Zandschulp.

Van de Zandschulp, who is ranked 117 in men’s singles by the ATP, defeated Ruud 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to Round 3.

Ruud started the match by losing the first two games, but he quickly took control and easily won the first set. But then van de Zandschulp’s game started coming together, and he started giving Ruud a major challenge. The two battled throughout the second set, but van de Zandschulp managed to get an edge after they were tied at 4-4. He finally managed to string two games together, which neither had been able to do in the second set, and won 6-4. 

Ruud never looked like he was completely out of it. There always felt like there was a chance he could charge his way back in. But by the third set, van de Zandschulp was cooking with gas. 

Ruud’s issue was finishing. He was able to stay with van de Zandschulp through the first few games of the final three sets, but each time he let van de Zandschulp get a game or so ahead of him and he couldn’t catch up. 

While there’s a chance that van de Zandschulp will end up winning the US Open, it’s not likely. But if there was a contest for best name of the tournament, he’d win in a landslide.

Rublev cruises after rough start

No. 5 Andrey Rublev had some tough moments at the beginning of his match against Pedro Martinez (the tennis player, not the Hall of Fame pitcher), but he managed to shake them off and win 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-1 to advance to Round 3

Rublev looked shaky from the start. Martinez won the first three games and five of the first seven before Rublev could fight back and get some momentum going. He won three straight games, then forced a tiebreaker which he won easily. With that little comeback, it felt like his troubles were behind him. 

Then came the second set. Neither Rublev or Martinez managed to win more than one game in a row. After Martinez won a close tiebreaker, it looked like this match might become an epic, five-set battle. 

Unfortunately for fans, it wasn’t to be. Rublev dominated the final two sets, allowing Martinez to win just one game in each. 

Rublev will face American Frances Tiafoe in Round 3.

Notes from Day 3

A lot of seeded players made their advance to Round 3 on Wednesday, which meant very few upsets but a lot of high quality tennis. 

No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev looked great in his 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over Dominik Koepfer.

Aryna Sabalenka, seeded No. 2 on the women’s side, battled sore fingers throughout her match against Tamara Zidansek. She dominated anyway, winning 6-3, 6-1 in just 59 minutes, and will take on American Danielle Collins (No. 26) in Round 3. No. 12 Simona Halep also beat her opponent, Kristina Kucova, by the same score (6-3, 6-1), but it took nine more minutes. Halep will next face Elena Rybakina (No. 19).

No. 9 Garbiñe Muguruza and No. 18 Victoria Azarenka both won their matches on Wednesday, and they’ll face each other in Round 3 on Thursday. Other winners include No. 5 Elina Svitolina, No. 20 Ons Jabeur, and No. 12 Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The match of the day belonged to Frances Tiafoe, who put on an energetic, animated show in his win over Guido Pella.