As if the first two days of competition weren’t enough, Wednesday brings a number of singles matches at the 2014 U.S. Open. Superstars like Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Simona Halep and Stanislas Wawrinka will take the court and entertain tennis fans throughout the day.
Here is a look at the full schedule as well as some predictions for a couple of the key matches. A bracket for the entire Grand Slam event can be found here.
|(6) Tomas Berdych||Lleyton Hewitt||Arthur Ashe Stadium||2nd Match|
|(3) Stan Wawrinka||Thomaz Bellucci||Arthur Ashe Stadium||5th Match|
|Blaz Kavcic||(30) Jeremy Chardy||Court 11||4th Match|
|Carlos Berlocq||Dudi Sela||Court 13||4th Match|
|Steve Johnson||Tatsuma Ito||Court 17||2nd Match|
|Jerzy Janowicz||Dusan Lajovic||Court 5||2nd Match|
|Frank Dancevic||(32) Joao Sousa||Court 5||3rd Match|
|Kenny De Schepper||(11) Ernests Gulbis||Grandstand||4th Match|
|(14) Marin Cilic||Marcos Baghdatis||Louis Armstrong Stadium||2nd Match|
|(7) Grigor Dimitrov||Ryan Harrison||Louis Armstrong Stadium||4th Match|
|Teymuraz Gabashvili||(27) Santiago Giraldo||Court 13||1st Match|
|Pablo Cuevas||(18) Kevin Anderson||Court 17||1st Match|
|(19) Feliciano Lopez||Ivan Dodig||Grandstand||1st Match|
|(5) Maria Sharapova||Alexandra Dulgheru||Arthur Ashe Stadium||3rd Match|
|(6) Angelique Kerber||Alla Kudryavtseva||Court 11||2nd Match|
|(18) Andrea Petkovic||Monica Puig||Court 11||3rd Match|
|(14) Lucie Safarova||Saisai Zheng||Court 13||2nd Match|
|Mirjana Lucic-Baroni||Shahar Peer||Court 13||3rd Match|
|Madison Brengle||(26) Sabine Lisicki||Court 17||3rd Match|
|(13) Sara Errani||Anastasia Rodionova||Court 5||4th Match|
|Tsvetana Pironkova||(9) Jelena Jankovic||Grandstand||2nd Match|
|Aliaksandra Sasnovich||(10) Caroline Wozniacki||Grandstand||3rd Match|
|Jana Cepelova||(2) Simona Halep||Louis Armstrong Stadium||3rd Match|
|(21) Sloane Stephens||Johanna Larsson||Arthur Ashe Stadium||1st Match|
|Belinda Bencic||(31) Kurumi Nara||Court 11||1st Match|
|Daniela Hantuchova||(22) Alize Cornet||Court 5||1st Match|
|Peng Shuai||(4) Agnieszka Radwanska||Louis Armstrong Stadium||1st Match|
|Timea Bacsinszky||(19) Venus Williams||Arthur Ashe Stadium||4th Match|
Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Thomaz Bellucci
Wawrinka and Thomaz Bellucci both won in the first round in straight sets, but it was actually the No. 3 seed who had the most trouble.
Wawrinka needed two late tiebreakers to knock out Jiri Vesely Monday 6-2, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3). The fact that there was some laboring shouldn’t take away from his nine aces and 41 winners, but the match lasted more than two hours and certainly wasn’t as straightforward as many expected.
ESPN Tennis noted as much:
Bellucci needed one tiebreaker when he beat Nicolas Mahut 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1. Unlike Wawrinka, Bellucci got stronger as the match progressed and finished with 11 aces.
Interestingly enough, Bellucci actually won the only head-to-head matchup between these two, but that came back in 2009 on clay. Since then, Wawrinka has established himself as one of the best players in the world and even has an Australian Open title under his belt.
The superior talent will win out in this one.
Prediction: Wawrinka in straight sets.
Maria Sharapova vs. Alexandra Dulgheru
Sharapova got off to something of a slow start in her first match against Maria Kirilenko but compensated by winning 10 consecutive games to claim victory 6-4, 6-0. The match lasted 90 minutes and extended her career record at night at the U.S. Open to a perfect 17-0.
She commented on the phenomenon, via USOpen.org:
Yeah, I'm not really sure because this is usually the time where I'm sleeping already, so I don't know. You'd actually think it was the opposite. I think in the beginning of my career, it was always a bit more challenging because I didn't really know how to adjust to what I should do during the day, how do I prepare for that. But I've certainly learned a lot, just know what to expect. I know the waiting game a little bit better than I did when I was a junior or a young teenager. But now I really enjoy it. I think you feel the goosebumps when you go out on a night match on Arthur Ashe.
Alexandra Dulgheru also had a fairly easy time of things in her first-round match against Kristyna Pliskova in a 6-3, 6-4 victory. She only tallied a single ace and won 61 percent of her first-service points but was never truly threatened.
Sharapova holds a perfect 2-0 record against Dulgheru, and there is no reason to expect anything different this time around. Sharapova has her eyes on a championship and has won a title at Flushing Meadows in the past.
Look for Sharapova to pick up where she left off in the first round and seize an early lead. From there, she will quickly eliminate Dulgheru on her way to the third round.
Prediction: Sharapova in straight sets.
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