Serena Williams, who already had a couple of matches under her belt. From Lexington made her 2020 Cincy Open, debut, squaring off against Dutchwoman, Arantxa Rus. Williams served very well in the first set, but so did Rus as a tiebreak would decide the openings outcome. Serena faced a lot of adversity here, going down 2 4. Then 5 6 facing a set point.. She overcame both hurdles thanks to that continued strong, serving taking the set in 59 minutes.. The second set was a complete turn around. As after breaking in the first game, Serena started to falter physically and lost the next 6 of 8 games.. After taking advantage of the heat rule and removing her skirt Williams stepped up her game once again to go up 5 2 in the decider. Full credit to Rus, though, as the Dutchwoman was rock solid stringing off 4 consecutive games to serve for the match. Arantxa came Within two points of victory, multiple times but Serena being the great champion, she is reached. Another gear breaking Rus, then wiping her out in the tiebreaker.. A lot of people were saying that Serenas form was poor and that she should be ashamed of almost losing to a player ranked outside the top 70. But Rus played like a top 10 player. Since the tours resumption Serena hasnt. Yet faced a player in the top 60 and all of her matches have gone to three sets.. That being said, all of Serenas opponents played well beyond their rankings and, with the exception of Rogers wouldve, probably beaten about 95 of other opponents.

. I think a good explanation behind these results, though, is the lack of crowd, because it kind of gives these matches a practice or challenger type of feel, and they are playing more fearlessly., Another plus side. These lower ranked players have is more match play because many have to go through qualifiers or play one extra round., I think, with everything considered Serena played really well, especially off the ground, but if there’s one area she could improve upon it’s the serve. While it was Oftentimes her saving grace she had a relatively low first serve percentage and didnt really go after her second.. I noticed that she was taped up a lot which could explain why. But in my opinion, if she is feeling some type of pain, she should eventually pull out of the tournament early. After her nearly three hour victory. Shell have another tough match tomorrow, night against Maria Sakkari., While she can definitely win this match and even the tournament. I still don’t think the latter will happen and will instead place my bets on her US Open campaign., Another woman who had a difficult yet promising opening round win was Naomi Osaka as she got by Czechwoman Karolina Muchova. 6. 7. 6. 4. 6. 2.. As I expected, Naomi was really strong in this match. Even in the set as her movement serves ground game were all on point today.. I really liked how she battled and problem solved for the tricky Muchova game, and she really showed that attitude.

She had on the way to her 2019 Australian, Open title. After the match Naomi revealed that she has a lot more stuff up her sleeve saying that she has yet to incorporate some things she worked on in the break.. Moreover, she discussed her overall performance in this interview with tennis. Channel. Kenin was originally my pick to win this tournament, but Im now giving that ro Naomi as she picked her to reach the finals.. I am a bit nervous about this choice as Naomi has a difficult. Third round opponent in Dayana Yastremska, who is actually coached by Sascha Bajin Osakas old coach., While Osaka did say that she changed her game. A lot Bajin knows a lot about her and will have his charge fully prepared. The women’s draw as a whole is very open. Currently, because, in addition to Pliskova and Kenin falling Petra Kvitova and defending champ Madison Keys fell to Marie Bouzkova and Ons Jabeur respectively. Keys loss means that only one seeded player will reached the quarterfinals in that bottom half.. All of those unseeded players are playing well, but most impressive is Victoria Azarenka, as shes been on fire, thus far, beating Vekic and Garcia in straight sets.. The steady Cornet won’t be easy, but I think the Belarusian has an excellent shot at reaching the semifinals.. For my finalist prediction in the bottom half I have more of an ultimatum as I feel if Sakkari beats Serena shell reach the final, but if she doesnt, I think Serena will eventually falter, whether literally or physically.

. Thus Azarenka would be my pick. Much like Azarenka Andy Murray has experienced a surprising resurgence this tournament beating Alexander Zverev, 7 5 in the third for his first top 10 win since 2017.. Overall, Im really impressed by Andys performance because, while Zverev suffered a lot with his serve Murrays resilience and movement was truly incredible.. Murray will next face Raonic, who is also playing well. This tournament., A player who did not play well, though, was second seed. Dominic Thiem, who suffered a shocking 6 2 6 1 loss to Filip Krajinovic.. In my preview I mentioned that the court speed in New York is significantly faster this season, but seeing how well he played on the fast courts in Melbourne, I thought hed be fine.. One thing I didnt consider was his lack of match play on the surface because, at least in Australia he was able to play his way into form at the ATP Cup.. Yes, Thiem has been playing exhibitions throughout the pandemic, but one meaningful matches are different and two. He simply hasnt played matches on this quick surface. Addressing his performance. Today. Dominic took a bizarre approach in often approaching the net, even when he wasnt in the best position of doing so.. He served and volleyed a lot in this match, which was a very poor play. In addition to having little success on serve, Dominic returned extremely poor only winning two. Yes, TWO total points on his opponents serve., Giving credit to Filip.

The serb played a very good match and took advantage of Thiems many bunt returns. Dominic, just in generally made far too many unforced errors and needs to quickly clean things. Up. Novak Djokovic managed to avoid Thiems fate. Scrapping out a 7 6 6 4 win over Ricardas Berankis. The last time. These two played Berankis only 5 games in a best of five match, and this close scoreline can be attributed to his excellent playing and Djokovics. Rustiness. Berankis was up breaks in both sets, but was unable to handle the occasion. Overall. I think Novak should be pleased with his performance, as he really ramped things up towards the tail end of the match.. I am concerned with Novaks neck injury, which forced him out of the doubles competition as he had that worked on in a painful medical time. Out. The world number one will look to win. His 20th consecutive match this season over Tennys Sandgren, who staged an impressive comeback. Victory over Felix Auger Aliassime. Addressing my men’s, draw predictions much like the womens, its totally busted, as my finalist Thiem, and Fritz both lost today., Im kind of hesitant to make new picks because I totally missed the mark. But for now Im just going to wing it and say that Tsitsipas and Khachanov will reach the finals. That’s all for today’s video, and let me know how you feel about Serena and Naomi’s struggle. Wins. Also did Thiems loss. Surprise you like it did me, Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and subscribe and click the notification bell, so youre notified whenever we post new content.