U.S. Open Day 2: Women’s Tournament Without Champions
As the first two days of the U.S. Open came to a conclusion, the women’s field would move forward void of any Grand Slam winners. Reigning U.S. Open Champion and Australian Open winner Kim Cljsters is out due to abdominal injury. Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova was defeated in the first round, with a poor performance against number 48 Alexandra Dulgheru that included 52 unforced errors.
LI Na’s match was the greatest disappointment. It wasn’t just that she lost in the first round to Simona Halep. It was how she lost. With 54 unforced errors and Halep hitting only 5 winners, Li’s performance was messy and uninspiring – the opposite of how I would have described her play during the French Open when she became the first Asian to win a Grand Slam singles title.
It’s not just inconsistency with these women and victory in one Grand Slam does not guarantee success in another. But it’s the level of play that these women were giving on the field that was simply uninspiring and frankly, just not very good.
What attracted most reporters’ attention during the first round was Serena Williams. Not only did she beat number 54 Bojana Jovanovski in only 56 minutes but it gives many of them an opportunity to rehash her previous U.S. Open debacle which included losing on a foot-fault and the subsequent public barrage of the official. Williams is clearly the most interesting storyline on the women’s side, with her return to the tennis world after a serous injury which left many in doubt of her future.
So what does this mean for the rest of the tournament? Most likely, it means that the player with the best shot of winning is number one ranked Carolina Wozianacki, who despite her ranking has never won a Grand Slam. Her first match win against Nuri Llagostera VIves showed her consistent playing style, but I still wouldn’t characterize it as compelling.
Though there may be room for a new winner on the women’s side, it will be the men’s tournament that provides the most exciting tennis.