2 interesting events take place this week to serve as final preparation for many before the US Open kicks off on August 31-st.
The top seeds of the event Gilles Simon and Kevin Anderson took wildcards to be here as their North American hard court season has been disappointing to say the least.
The Frenchman lost in the 2nd round in Montreal and in the 1st, a week later in Cincinnati. This also marks his first appearance in North Carolina.
Sam Querrey, who is Simon’s potential ¼ final opponent, hasn’t made it beyond the 2nd round of an event since Nottingham played on Grass in late June, or 5 consecutive tournaments…Maybe having a bye into the 2nd round will boost his chances to be able to be a R3 participant with only 1 win in an event.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost in the 1st round in Cincinnati to Fernando Verdasco which ruined a bit his good result in Montreal week later. Failing to defend the title in Canada cost the French some spots down the rankings as well. Guillermo Garcia Lopez is the highest potential seed Tsonga could face on his road to the Semis, but the Spaniard hasn’t played on hard courts at all, with his last official match being a 1st round retirement due to a hamstring problem vs the young wildcard Munar in Hamburg last month.
Kevin Anderson is the 2nd seed and will be looking to go further than 3rd round 12 months earlier. He has had bad results since the calendar switched to North America with losses in 1st round in consecutive competitions – to A.Zverev in Washington and Lukas Rosol in Montreal. The South African finally showed some life in Cincinnati getting through L.Mayer and Jack Sock, but lost to Federer in the 3rd round.
We may witness last year’s final taking place in R3 this time as the defending Champion is waiting the winner or Gulbis and Janowicz. The Polish player made a surprising run to the final with lot of very close wins and even had match points vs Lukas but couldn’t convert and eventually lost in a 3 set battle.
Alexandr Dolgopolov lost a very tight Semifinal vs Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati after making it there from the qualies, so we shall see in what condition he will be for this quick transition to play in consecutive weeks.
The promising young talent Borna Coric may be Andreson’s potential QF opponent with Viktor Troicki and Thomaz Belucci the projected other QF matchup in the bottom part of the draw.
We may see another surprising final just like last year, as this 250 ATP event has a lot to offer
Top seed of the event Simona Halep had to withdraw with left thigh injury and Lucky Loser Lesia Tsurenko took her spot and also a bye into the 2nd round.
Lucie Safarova is now the highest seed in the top part of the draw and has a threat in R1 in face of Darya Gavrilova who has already beaten her in Toronto 2 weeks ago. Revenge time or another loss for the Roland Garros finalist?
Since losing in the 4-th round of Wimbledon the Czech hasn’t had much success. Only 2 wins since then, 1 with retirement involved doesn’t sound that optimistic in preparation for the US Open. The Toronto Semifinalist Sara Errani is Lucie’s projected opponent in the quarter finals with compatriot Karolina Pliskova likely the Semi’s one. Karolina is now the only seed in the first quarter due to Halep’s removal.
Last year’s champion Petra Kvitova is back here with the 2nd seed and her part of the draw looks really packed. Since she has been diagnosed with mononucleosis she hasn’t won a match. Two consecutive losses – to Azarenka in Toronto and Caroline Garcia in Cincinnati, makes her looking for answers just one week before the last Grand Slam of the year starts.
The Czech has a stiff challenge with the winner of Madison Keys/Elina Svitolina as her R2 opponent. Always tough to face top 20 player as first match, but Connecticut open has quality filed and very low acceptance rank,so those blockbuster matches happen really early than usual. Agieszka Radwanska, who accepted late Wild card to get more matches before New York, is in the same quarter and likely Petra’s QF opponent.
Caroline Wozniacki decided to give it a shot here taking a Wild Card,as well.
“I was struggling with my leg and my back, and going into the first tournament I wasn’t really 100% ready yet. I hadn’t practiced for a while,” Wozniacki said. “But last week, body-wise, I felt good. I felt 100%. I was feeling good mentally, too. So this week hopefully I can start doing better.
I was planning on taking the week off before the Open. I had a few commitments in New York I wanted to do, and also I kind of wanted to just chill before the Open, but now that I’m feeling better I decided I wanted to get some matches in before the Open, and just prepare myself as well as possible for it.’’
Caroline has won the event 4 times in a row 2008-2011, but since then has lost 2 Semifinals and last year in R2 to Camila Giorgi as a $1.2 favourite.
After catapulting herself in top 20 with Semi in French Open followed by a QF in Wimbledon Timea Bacsinszky has been really quiet making headlines in North America. Now caring a 3 game losing streak, the talented Swiss has Caroline Garcia as R1 opponent with Wozniacki as her projected QF opponent, if she makes it there.
“There were so many upsets and unexpected results in Toronto,” New Haven tournament director Anne Worcester said. “And wild cards always bring surprises before the fourth and final grand slam. We’re really pleased with the field.”
Unfortunately, everything tennis wise is cancelled to at least 13th of July. Let's hope this corona virus goes away as soon as possible and this is the last date the tour is pushed back to. Stay safe people!
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