Despite a slump that began shortly before his match against Margarita Gasparian and a temporary delay to close the roof at Arthur Ash Stadium, Williams was not disappointed. The 23-time major champion won every point of the first game. When Gasparian finds his rhythm in the second set, Williams can be heard shouting, “Come, Serena, come!” The match itself is set to close 6–6, 6–4.
21-time head Pam Shriver said, “The women’s team in this tournament has already taken so many hit points, it would have been disastrous for the glory of the draw, if Serena hadn’t won in terms of keeping the interest level high,” Champion and ESPN Analyst. “Obviously, all these players have big stories and talent, but they are still stars as far as the women’s draw in the news is concerned.”
After the initial round of a regular routine, the second round was anything but expected. The tournament’s top seed Carolina Pliskova was defeated in straight sets by Caroline Garcia on Wednesday afternoon. The next 36 hours were filled with more ups and downs. Aryan Sabalenka, Johanna Konta, Garbine Muguruza, Elena Rybkina, Marka Wondrasuseva, Alison Riske and Dayna Yastreska – all placed in the top 20 – Pliskova.
Only 19 of the 32 seeds are left with three round matches, which were suspended after the rain.
Due to various concerns over the coronavirus epidemic not playing with six of the world’s top 10 players this year, the draw was probably more open than ever. And 11 different major champions since the start of the 2017 season, which is definitely saying something. Now, with so many contenders out of the picture, the US Open can actually be anyone to win.
“This is an era of unpredictable times for women’s tennis, and now because of COVID-19 and long layoffs, you bring a whole other level of unpredictability,” Shriver said. “So you have an unexpected tournament at an unexpected time in history, and who knows how an athlete is going to come out to play. So you keep everyone together and, you know, God please anyone Who can sort it and predict it. Happens next. “
Australian Open champion and No. 2 seed Sophia Kainin went on to a 6-4, 6-3 win over Canadian teenager Lila Fernandez on Thursday. Sloan Stephens, the 2017 champion who will face Williams on Saturday, went on to a brutal 6-2, 6-2 win over Olga Goversova. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka has made a statement in New York with the Western and Southern Open titles and is angry with fifth seed Sabalenka on Thursday. Petra Quitova and Angelique Kerber both remain multi-time Grand Slam winners, and many Americans, including Madison Keys, Amanda Anisimova and Jennifer Brady, are all looking for their first major wins.
Even those already counted have a chance. The Bulgarian Tsivana Pironkova, who defeated Wimbledon and French Open champion and 2020 Australian Open finalist Muguruza earlier this week, had not played in a competitive match since Wimbledon in 2017.
“I always knew it’s inside me because it’s not the first time [won against] A top player, “Pironkova said.” [have] Been on this tour for about 15 years, and I had many occasions where I played against the best players.
“I think I was mentally prepared. This is nothing new. [At] At the same time, I was feeling well, I was moving well, I was hitting the ball well. Why not live ”
Even with more than a dozen women able to win their next five matches, Williams, who continues her quest to tie Margaret Court with 24 slam titles, remains a tournament favorite with Naomi Osaka . The two can meet again in the US Open final, as they did during a memorable 2018 championship won by Osaka.
Osaka, who struggles after back-to-back big wins at the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open, said she is not letting herself think beyond her next match against 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk on Friday.
“I stopped thinking about winning,” he said. “I think I put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m only thinking about putting myself in a good position to win. But I’m taking match with match.”
Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are in action, as well as a US vs Canada performance on US Open Day 5.
In a year filled with uncertainty, there was speculation that players accustomed to feed the energy of the crowd might struggle. Pliskova did not think that her loss would include any facts.
“I think there are some girls who are playing good tennis right now,” Pliskova said on Wednesday. “I think Garcia is one of them.”
For her part, Williams said there was something quiet about the environment during her on-court interview on Thursday. All that raises the question: Can a lack of fans really give him an extra edge that has been lacking during his four final appearances, after coming back from having children? She lost in the finals of 2018 and 2019 Wimbledon and US Open.
“We all know how well Serena can play and how mentally tough she is,” said Alexandra Stevenson, a Wimbledon semifinalist and an ESPN analyst. “I think not being in the crowd helps her because something happens when she reaches the finals with the crowd and she just doesn’t play her game. She can bring in internal fire, so it’s really for her. Could be an interesting run.
“I would not say at all that it would be easy, and she would have a lot of land mines on the way because everyone is going for her. If she can pull it together and serve then I know that she will serve. Can do it and bring the fight. No more full time, and if she can just stay calm and in the zone [five] More matches, so I think she is going to match the record. But she won’t be facing the girls at any point where she can just walk through them. These young players are not intimidated by him, or anyone, as others used to do, and Everyone Believe they can win. ”
Williams did not talk about what he would need to do to secure his place in history after his match on Thursday, but he hoped to still be playing in the draw.
“I feel like every day, I’m on a new journey, and especially in this tournament and this year, it’s just a new journey,” she said. “So I feel really good. I feel like I’m on that journey and I’m going in the right direction.”