The weight of crowd expectation continues to weigh down the undoubtedly talented 25-year-old American, Coco Vandeweghe.
She went missing for parts of the match when dispatching fellow country-woman Alison Riske in the first round. Losing a hard fought final to Madison Keys in Stanford has taken the sting out of Vandewghe’s normally potent bite. She has not been the same player since. A follow-up defeat to Keys early in Cincinnati really can’t have helped either.
A tight first set
There was nothing between the resurgent Tunisian Ons Jabeurand the crowd favourite Vandeweghe. The latter player would often threaten to take control, but Jabeur was always comfortable on her own serve. If anything, it was Jabeur who looked more relaxed in the pressure situation of the first set tie-break.
However, Coco Vandeweghe dug deep to take the tie-break 8-6 and the fist pump that followed, showed how much she wants this. This could be the turning point of her tournament.
Vandewghe makes second set harder than it should have been
Despite using the first pumping momentum gained from sneaking a first set that could have gone either way, at 2-0 in the second set and in control, the American still hit unmissable forehands into the net.
Her opponent showed guile and heart to keep clinging onto the American’s coattails, as one break of serve continued to be the difference between the pair. Until the seventh game, that is. Vandeweghe used her forehand to punish increasingly weaker serves from a tired Jabeur.
Vandeweghe finally saw off her gutsy adversary, taking the match 7-6, 6-4.
Radwanska awaits the American in the 3rd round
A few years ago, the newly wed Polish heroine would not have been able to skip along reality unnoticed, but she has this year. This match will be a powerhouse of a struggle and will test Vandeweghe’s mettle. If she can navigate through this one, you will have to start taking her seriously as a US Open contender.
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