Panelists Predictions US Open Women’s Day 3 Matches–Including Wozniacki/Kuznetsova

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We are into the second round of the US Open. There have been a few surprises in the bottom half of the draw so far, but nothing truly earth-shattering. The favorites are still in play and we are back to predict five of the biggest matches on Day 3. Predicting today are Sam Barker, Niall Murray, and Linda Celia Ellis.

Panelists Predictions US Open Women’s Day 3 Matches

Andrea Petkovic vs Belinda Bencic
Sam:
A really interesting tussle between two players who have spent much of this year in the doctor’s room. With little match fitness, Bencic scraped through her first round match and unfortunately she may run out of puff in this second round match-up. Petkovic could use a lucky break and this year’s US Open could be it.
Prediction: Petkovic in 3

Linda:
This could be an interesting match up. Last year, heading into the US Open, Bencic was full of confidence coming off a tournament win in Toronto where she defeated several top players including Caroline Wozniacki (#5 at the time), World #1 Serena Willliams, and Simona Halep. Bencic started 2016 off with solid results and entered the top 10 on the WTA rankings. The second part of Bencic’s year has been littered with injuries; she was unable to play the French Open and and she was forced to retire from two grass court tournaments including her second round match at Wimbledon. Andrea Petkovic has also suffered numerous setbacks due to injuries. Petkovic reached a career high of #9 in 2011 but then she was forced to spend a lot of time rehabbing from injuries. Currently Petkovic sits at #43 on the WTA rankings and Bencic sits at #26. Both of these players have good variety in their games and are good movers on the court; the winner of this match will be the player who is able to be the most aggressive with their shots.
Prediction: Bencic in 2

Niall:
This has the potential to be a great match. Bencic has had injury problems this year, but showed her resilience after losing the first set to Samantha Crawford in round one. Her game is well suited to the hard courts in New York and although I think it will be tight, I fancy Bencic to edge this one.
Prediction: Bencic in 3

Roberta Vinci vs Christina McHale

Sam:
Last year’s runner-up – Roberta Vinci – has plenty of points to defend but showed no signs of pressure against Anna-Lena Friedsam. Both have been in very sketchy form recently and whoever wins will have won their first consecutive matches since before Wimbledon. Despite the backing of the home fans, McHale will probably succumb to Vinci’s experience.
Prediction: Vinci in 2

Linda:
This match up features last year’s finalist Vinci against the American McHale. Vinci is sitting firmly in the top ten of the rankings while McHale has fallen from a career high of #24 to her current ranking of #55. Although McHale suffered first round losses at the Australian Open and the French Open, she was able to play some great tennis and took Serena Williams to three sets at Wimbledon. Although McHale will have the support of the home crowd, Vinci will be a tough customer. Vinci has a lot of variety in her game and an extremely low backhand slice shot which will make it difficult for McHale to hit her power shots. Vinci is also much more experienced than McHale and will draw on last year’s wins to get her through the match.
Prediction: Vinci in 2

Niall:
Vinci looked impressive in her first round match and everyone knows that she’s a dangerous prospect on hard court. A finalist here in 2015, Vinci knows what it takes to navigate through the early rounds. Christina McHale on the other hand hasn’t really been able build on the set she took off of Serena Williams at Wimbledon. I see this one ending in a routine win for the Italian.
Prediction: Vinci in 2

Shelby Rogers vs Cici Bellis

Sam:
One to whet the appetite of the American fans, this has the potential to be a cracker. Cici Bellis – the youngest player in the top #200 by some distance – is making steady progress and has undeniable talent. She certainly has enough to overcome Shelby Rogers but it’s whether she can cope with the psychological pressure of doing it on the big stage at just 17 years of age.
Prediction: Rogers in 3

Linda:
There are a number of match ups in early rounds this year between American players and it is a great opportunity for the fans to get to know the future of the game in their country. Cici Bellis was the darling of the tournament two years ago when at the age of 15, she defeated Dominka Cibulkova (#13 on the WTA rankings on that date) in the first round. Bellis has played most of the year on the Futures circuit, however, she did reach the quarterfinals at Stanford where she lost to Venus Williams. Rogers has a 21-18 win loss record this year, with her best run coming at the French Open. In Paris Rogers defeated top ranked players including Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova, losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion Garbine Muguruza. This should be a tight match but if Bellis plays her game I think she could take it in three sets.
Prediction: Bellis in 3

Niall:
Rogers may be ranked 109 places ahead of her 17-year-old American compatriot, but this match won’t be a walk in the park. Bellis has come through qualifying and looked fired up on her way to victory in round one. She’s also caused upsets at Flushing Meadows before; she knocked out 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova two years ago. That said, after seeing Rogers defeat #27 seed Sara Errani in the first round, I fancy her to go through here.
Prediction: Rogers in 3

Lauren Davis vs Elina Svitolina

Sam:
It would be surprising if Svitolina didn’t manage to come through this with ease. Since teaming up with Justin Henin, the Ukrainian has been making consistent improvements which culminated in her defeat of Serena Williams during the Rio Olympics. Svitolina really will just have too much for the American on the day.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2

Linda:
This should be a straightforward match for Svitolina who is ranked #19 compared to Davis who is ranked #105. Svitolina enters the tournament after reaching the finals in New Haven where she lost to Agnieszka Radwanska. At the recent Olympics in Rio, Svitolina upset Serena Williams. The American Davis plays primarily a retrieving type of game with no real strong weapons.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2

Niall:
I think Svitolina will be too strong for the American wildcard, Lauren Davis. The Ukrainian has shown her hard court credentials and her form has been good coming into New York. She reached the final of New Haven and of course knocked Serena Williams out of the Olympics. She also looked very strong in the second and third sets of her opening round match.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2

Caroline Wozniacki vs Svetlana Kuznetsova
Sam:
These two may be finely poised at six wins a piece in their head to head but this match is only going one way. It will almost certainly be unlucky number thirteen for Caroline Wozniacki as her Russian opponent looked rampant in round one. Kuznetsova will not even need to be at her best to see off the wayward Dane.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 2

Linda:
This matchup is between two players who appear to be moving in opposite directions on the WTA rankings. Wozniacki has dropped from the #1 spot to #74. In contrast Kuznetsova has mounted a comeback and returned to the top of the rankings and has risen to #10, with her career high ranking of #2 occurring in September of 2007. Kuznetsova has had a solid year, winning in Sydney, where she defeated Monica Puig, and reaching the final in Miami where she lost to Victoria Azarenka. She comes into the US Open with a win lost record of 30-16. Wozniacki has a 13-14 win loss record entering the US Open, including a first round loss at the Australian Open and a first round loss at Wimbledon to none other than Kuznetsova.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 3

Niall:
I can’t see anything but a Kuznetsova win here. She breezed through her first round match against Francesca Schiavone, whereas Wozniacki needed over two hours to defeat young American, Taylor Townsend. The Dane has endured are torrid year which has seen her ranking plummet from 17 to 74. Kuznetsova also came out on top the last time they met, which was in the first round of Wimbledon this year.
Prediction: Kuznetsova in 2

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