US Open 2017 Third Round Previews: Radwanska vs Vandeweghe, Ostapenko-Kasatkina

This post includes two previews of Saturday’s two third round matches at the 2017 US Open, including Radwanska-Vandeweghe and Ostapenko-Kasatkina.

1. [10] Agnieszka Radwanska (No.11) vs [20] Coco Vandweghe (No.22)

Radwanska’s route to this stage

R1: d. Petra Martic, 6-4 7-6(3)

R2: d. Yulia Putintseva, 7-5 6-2

Vandeweghe’s route to this stage

R1: d. Alison Riske, 2-6 6-3 6-4

R2: d. Ons Jabeur, 7-6(6) 6-2

Agnieszka Radwanska seems to be rounding into form after a horrendous six months, reaching the semifinals of New Haven a week ago and has gained two strong wins over Petra Martic and Yulia Putintseva without much struggles. Coco Vandeweghe will definitely be Radwanska’s first biggest test, but the American hasn’t been playing her best tennis in this tournament yet. She needed three sets to get past Alison Riske, before saving set points in the first to beat Ons Jabeur in the second round.

Radwanska leads the head to head 5-1, and has never lost to Vandeweghe in five previous matches on hard courts, including a 6-3 6-2 win in Toronto this year. Vandeweghe said that she was tired in Toronto having just played the Stanford final, so I won’t read much into that one. Against Radwanska, Vandeweghe must produce a perfect performance and cover the net well in order to get past the defenses of the Pole and we know she can do that. Playing in the day session will help Radwanska but if the American turns on the screw, there’s probably no way Radwanska can handle the power…

2. [12] Jelena Ostapenko (No.13) vs Daria Kasatkina (No.38)

Ostapenko’s route to this stage

R1: d. Lara Arruabarrena, 6-2 1-6 6-1

R2: d. Sorana Cirstea, 6-4 6-4

Kasatkina’s route to this stage

R1: d. Wang Qiang, 6-7(7) 6-2 6-3

R2: d. Christina McHale, 7-5 6-3

Both teenagers Jelena Ostapenko and Daria Kasatkina have been having outstanding seasons, both winning their maiden titles at Roland Garros and Charleston respectively. Ostapenko has not been playing her best tennis since the French Open victory, but has found some form in New York, blasting past Lara Arruabarrena in a roller coaster match before taking down Sorana Cirstea in straights. Kasatkina’s route has been less roller coaster-ish but also had tough matches against Wang Qiang and Christina McHale.

Kasatkina won their only encounter on the WTA circuit, a straight-sets trashing of Ostapenko in the final of Charleston, but that was on the relatively slower clay of Charleston. Ostapenko couldn’t handle Kasatkina’s variety and lack of pace. The US Open hard courts are definitely faster, which will definitely help Ostapenko. Kasatkina can definitely put up some resistance with her defensive game and variety but Lara Arruabarrena has a similar game to Ostapenko but yet the Latvian had handled it well.  I’ll go with Ostapenko…

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