Serena saves the honor of the favorites in the goodbye of Kvitova

The Czech started winning 6-2, but her rival came back. Serena was close to losing a surreal duel, but will finally be in the round of 16.


Serena Williams saved the honor of the favorites in New York to advance to the knockout stages of the Western & Southern Open in a match that resulted in a rollercoaster of emotions. The American was on the verge of losing a match that she had more than won in the third set and that finally resolved in an atypical tie-break, where she nailed the Dutch Arantxa Rus a donut. Almost 3 hours of battle (7-6, 3-6, 7-6), which we will see if they take a physical toll on him in a round of 16 where he will be measured with Sakkari.

The first set was very tight, with no service breaks by any player, so only the tie-break could undo the equality. There, the 23 Grand Slams weighed in and Serena closed her sleeve, yes, with tremendous suffering. The breaks that were missing in the first set came at a stroke in the second. Williams broke first, but Rus didn't take the hit. He signed the counterbreak and went unstoppable for the set with a run of four consecutive games. Serena showed discomfort, puffing after each exchange and sweating profusely under conditions that were harsh today in the Big Apple: 31 degrees and 58% humidity. There the Dutch moved better and closed the set 3-6.

The third set had a mixture of emotions, between dramatic and surreal. Serena reacted after passing through the changing rooms, including changing clothes, and went 5-2 up, a gap that seemed insurmountable. Not for Rus, who did not lose face to the game at any time and took advantage of Serena's doubts, who was a bundle of nerves. It seemed close to the feat of the Dutch, who got to put 6-5 ahead, but the American forced the tie-break and there she did not forgive: 7-0 and round of 16. Honor intact, but full of doubts ...

Kvitova says goodbye to the Czech duel

Women's tennis is not spared from that constant swing of ups and downs. More now in this atypical 2020 that we are living because of the pandemic. The irregularity is still latent among the favorite calls to win tournaments, as happened on Monday's day with Petra Kvitova at the Western & Southern Open. The number 12 in the WTA ranking was eliminated in the Czech match of the day against the semi-unknown Marie Bouzkova after being diluted like a sugar. The initial 6-2 was a mirage and his rival turned the clash around in the next two sets: 5-7 and 2-6. Inexplicable.

The match started quietly, with both players maintaining their serve without undue difficulties. But the fifth game was no longer scoring for Kvitova, who put one more gear to chain four games in a row that gave her the set: 6-2. In this first round, Kvitova finished with half of her rival's unforced errors and signed almost twice as many winners, making her superiority clear.

But as we said before, what happened in the first set was a mere mirage. Inexplicably, unless physical problems are confirmed, Kvitova's game dropped significantly, which translated into greater confidence for her young rival, 22 years old. Kvitova's bleeding of errors in the second set was terrible: 15 for just 2 from Bouzkova, so the set fell on her side. The script did not change in the final set, with a favorable inertia for Bouzkova that allowed her to seal her ticket to the round of 16 while Kvitova languished on the track.More favorites say goodbye

But the Czech was not the only favorite who said goodbye. since it joined the previous defeats of the top candidates for the title: Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin, first seeds before the absences of Ashleigh Barty (No. 1) and Simona Halep (No. 2). They did fulfill the predictions Konta, by defeating Flipkens (6-2 and 6-0) on the fast track, and Mertens, after beating Mladenovic (6-1, 6-7 and 6-3) .

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