Andrea Petkovic upset sixth seed Petra Kvitova 6-4 6-4 at the U.S. Open on Thursday to set up a third-round clash with Elise Mertens. World number 88 Petkovic was the better player in the biggest points, breaking the twice Grand Slam champion three times and committing 15 fewer unforced errors on a sun-soaked Louis Armstrong Stadium court.
The 31-year-old German, who celebrated the win by lifting her shirt and pointing to her abs, said she is in a great state of mind despite winning only eight main-draw matches this year.
“In the past two weeks I’ve been really good with my mental state,” Petkovic said.
The Petko victory celebration 💃
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 29, 2019
“I’ve been trying to stay in the moment and play point by point, enjoy the time I get to spend on this beautiful court and it’s been really working for me, so I’m glad.
“There were ups and downs throughout the match but I was there in the most important moments.”
She tipped her hat to the Czech, who has been hampered this summer by a left forearm injury.
“Petra is one of my favourite players and people on Tour,” she said. “It’s always so tough when I play against her and I’m so happy.”
Petkovic will be the underdog again when she takes on 25th seeded Mertens, who trounced Kristyna Pliskova 6-2 6-2.
Simona Halep suffers another early U.S. Open exit
Wimbledon champion Simona Halep’s New York frustrations continued as the Romanian fourth seed suffered a shock 2-6 6-3 7-6(4) loss to American qualifier Taylor Townsend in second round action on Thursday.
Halep, who fell in the first round here in the last two years, managed to fight off a pair of match points in the 10th game of the decider but Townsend’s aggressive play at the net carried her home.
Townsend, 23, used an aggressive, net-rushing style of play to kept the pressure on Halep, who grew more and more frustrated as she was unable to come up with the necessary passing shots.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 30, 2019
Halep arrived at Flushing Meadows looking to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2012 to follow a Wimbledon win with a U.S. Open triumph.
Up next for Townsend in her first third round appearance at the U.S. Open, will be Romanian Sorana Cirstea, who beat Spain’s Aliona Bolsova earlier on Thursday.
Caroline Wozniacki safely into third round with win over Collins
Former Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki rallied back to beat American Danielle Collins 4-6 6-3 6-4 on Thursday to secure a spot in the third round of the U.S. Open.
The Danish 19th seed, who has not been past the second round in New York since her run to the semi-finals in 2016, secured the victory when she served out to love in the final game.
Collins, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals this year, did well to grab the first set but lost her way in the second when Wozniacki made the necessary adjustments and raced out to a 5-0 lead.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 30, 2019
“She started off very aggressively and I couldn’t really find any rhythm,” Wozniacki said in her on-court interview.
“I just stayed determined and tried to take the ball earlier in the second and third sets … so she didn’t have any opportunity to attack.”
Up next for two-times U.S. Open finalist Wozniacki will be in-form Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who beat Belgian qualifier Kirsten Flipkens earlier on Thursday to advance.
Coco Gauff sets up Naomi Osaka showdown in U.S. Open third round
Crowd-pleasing teenager Coco Gauff came through a tough battle with qualifier Timea Babos 6-2 4-6 6-4 on Thursday to set up a third-round clash at the U.S. Open against top seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka.
The 15-year-old American phenom was forced to dig deep to become the youngest player since Anna Kournikova in 1996 to reach the third round of the women’s singles at Flushing Meadows.
“I was tested a lot. I think we both were just testing each other,” Gauff said. “It’s just that type of match where anyone could have won.”
Gauff rode into this year’s tournament with enormous expectations after a dream run at Wimbledon where she beat five-times champion Venus Williams on her way to the fourth round.
A fired up Gauff prevailed after a 12-stroke rally late in the third set to set up a break point opportunity, pumping her fists wildly and shouting in excitement in front of a packed crowd that was firmly on her side.
The pair seemed nearly evenly matched, with wildcard Gauff maintaining a slightly tighter performance and committing 34 unforced errors compared to 42 from Hungarian Babos.
Gauff will face off against 21-year-old Osaka, who also holds the Australian Open title, in the third round of the tournament on Saturday for a clash that may provide a glimpse at the future of the women’s game.