A Grand Slam is in itself a difficult task even for the best of tennis players, and the United States Open is no exception. It became even more interesting than expected and with the heat in recent days, many players gave in under the pressure.
The first player to wilt was Agnieszka Radwanska, the fourth-seeded player who seemed to continue her drab string of performances. The Chinese player, Peng Shuai defeated Radwanska with a 6-3, 6-4 in a two round match. In fact, Radwanska never managed to advance past the fourth round in any of her nine U.S. Open appearances. Soon after, Sloane Stephens joined Radwanska in the losers’ corner when she lost to Johanna Larsson of Sweden. Stephens managed to surprise her audience when she banged out 63 unforced errors that had her lose 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to the Swedish player.
Kurumi Nara was another player to lose, this time to Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, in a three set match of 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
The men were also negatively influenced by the heat, especially since the men’s matches stretched well into the afternoon. Cyrpus player Marcos Baghtadis had to retire in the second set, being defeated by number 14 player Marin Cilic to advance. Then, Ivan Dodig could also not play anymore and had to abandon the game against Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the fifth set.
However intense the heat was, it seems that some players had additional negative influences. Radwanska, for instance, seemed to have gathered up quite a significant amount of bad feelings after not having been able to advance past the fourth round in any of her US Open appearances. She said that she would try to play better and find another way of being in the second week, adding that Shuai defeated her because she had a better day.
The 28-year-old Peng defeated a top-five opponent for the fourth time in 26 matches. She won the Wimbledon title in 2013 and the French Open in 2014 with Hsieh Su-Wei in the doubles competition.
Her match point was earned by winning the 27-strok rally with a backhand winner.
Stephens could have had an opportunity in the quarter of the women’s draw after Radwanska’s loss, but Stephen’s inconsistency this season was ultimately her downfall as she had yet another shaky performance.
Stephens generally stars in the Open. Previously, she had never lost before the third round. Her opponent, Larsson, has advanced past the first round for the first time this year.