Things We Learned on Day Two of the 2014 US Open


1. It wasn’t pretty, but Victoria Azarenka stayed alive at the US Open, beating Misaki Doi in three sets. If she had lost today, she would’ve dropped out of the top 30. It’s hard to believe how far she’s fallen since playing that incredible final at the US Open last year against Serena Williams.

There’s little to like in her game right now–her movement isn’t very good, she’s making more errors than usual, and her serve is erratic–but even at her peak, we often saw her fight through rust caused by her constant injuries. I doubt she lasts long in New York this year, but after the way she played today, there’s nowhere to go but up … I hope.

2. This is priceless:

Here’s more on CiCi Bellis, who beat Dominika Cibulkova in three sets, becoming the youngest player to win a match at the US Open since Anna Kournikova.

Apparently, Bellis was listed as a Bieber fan on her U.S. Open bio sheet. She cleared the air in an interview with The Tennis Channel. “I don’t know where you got that. I mean, he’s okay. I liked him a lot when I was younger.”

3. Great win for Bellis, sure, but sort yourself out, Domi. Her tennis has been dire lately.

4. American wild card Jared Donaldson acquitted himself well against Gael Monfils, despite losing in straights. The 17-year-old has a well-rounded game with a decent serve, big forehand, and a backhand capable of doing damage. He never really made inroads against a steady Monfils, but in a year or two, I could see him as a mainstay in the top 100, with potential to go higher.

5. Enjoy Roger Federer hitting Mad Dog Matosevic in the butt with a tweener:


6. Kudos to qualifier Borna Coric for continuing his good run by beating a spent Lukas Rosol in straight sets today. I wish it would’ve been on a TV court. He gets Victor Estrella-Burgos next.


1. Well, if I were Santiago Gonzalez’s wife I would have to kill him, but this is the funniest Ice Bucket Challenge I’ve seen:

2. Dear God, Sveta. Dear God. /rant

3. Over at Bleacher Report I always do a draw breakdown and in a span of like two hours have to thoroughly analyze both draws and give my predictions from the quarterfinals on. This doesn’t leave much time for deep thinking.

For the sake of laughs, here are my picks this year:


Serena Williams (No. 1) vs. Ana Ivanovic (No. 8)
Petra Kvitova (No. 3) vs. Ekaterina Makarova (No. 17)
Jelena Jankovic (No. 9) vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (No. 4)
Caroline Wozniacki (No. 10) vs. Simona Halep (No. 2)


Williams vs. Kvitova
Radwanska vs. Wozniacki


Williams vs. Wozniacki





Novak Djokovic (No. 1) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No. 9)
Stan Wawrinka (No. 3) vs. Milos Raonic (No. 5)
David Ferrer (No. 4) vs. Feliciano Lopez (No. 19)
Roger Federer (No. 2) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (No. 7)


Djokovic vs. Raonic
Ferrer vs. Dimitrov


Djokovic vs. Dimitrov



We all know not to take predictions too seriously, right? And we all know that picking against your favorite isn’t something that you should take super personally? Okay, good. Moving on.

4. The science of grunting!

Maybe not as much as you’d think. In a recent study, ten Division I tennis players (five men, five women) were asked to hit forehand and backhand shots while either grunting or not grunting. Each hitting session consisted of five 2-minute periods with a 1-minute break in between. During the experiment, players wore a portable device that measured metabolic activity while ball velocity was measured with a radar gun. Interestingly, heart rate and oxygen consumption for the two hitting conditions weren’t significantly different. But ball velocity was. When players grunted, they hit the ball nearly 4 percent harder. Grunting, researchers discovered, allowed players to hit harder without having to work harder.

5. Jack Sock had a good draw and had been in pretty good form this summer, so seeing him have to withdraw against Andujar with an injury was such a big disappointment. I’ve really got my eyes on Ryan Harrison and especially Steve Johnson, who are both playing their first-round matches today. Come on, boys. Do it for #merica.

6. 1999, you guys. 1999! 1999. *never gets out of bed again*

7. Women–stop being your own worst enemy. Think before you speak! It’s awful that anyone would say this anymore, particularly a fellow tennis pro. Someone, anyone, have a talk with Lauren Davis. (Preferably BJK, but hell, I’ll take anyone at this point.)

8. Random tweets I favorited:

7 Responses

  1. ezioaltair12
    ezioaltair12 August 27, 2014 at 7:36 am |

    Ice bucket challlenge made laugh….until I realized that the hotel staff has to deal with that.:(

  2. Master Ace
    Master Ace August 27, 2014 at 9:44 am |

    Ivanovic’s tweet is getting back at Sharapova for her slow pace of play due to her preserve & prereturn rituals after Sharapova told the media that she would charge 2.5K for each medical timeout. Wonder if Petkovic would have another say to Sharapova on the issue.

  3. Mark
    Mark August 27, 2014 at 10:20 am |

    Lindsay, I don’t know the full context of Davis’ comment on Stosur, but I don’t think it is intended to insult. It may actually be a compliment. What I think she is saying is that Stosur has a big serve and forehand, which is more common for the typical ATP player.

    1. Mark
      Mark August 27, 2014 at 10:22 am |

      She said Stosur *plays* like a guy, not *is* a guy…

  4. RZ
    RZ August 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm |

    Predictions are all in fun, and what is the fun in picking the most likely winners? Also, if Wozniacki does make the final, everyone will be calling Lindsay a genius. 🙂

  5. Joshua Gibson
    Joshua Gibson August 28, 2014 at 4:50 am |

    I second Mark’s comment. The difference between “Serena’s a dude” and “Stosur plays like a guy” is the difference between Hingis saying that Mauresmo “is half a man already” and Davenport saying Mauresmo “plays like a guy.” The former are about gender conformity while the latter are intended to express a combination of admiration and frustration at playing someone to hits the ball harder than most other players. I agree that it’s a fairly dumb trope — neither Stosur nor Mauresmo is actually anywhere close to the power of a male player — and it’s one people should avoid simply so we can avoid these conversations, but Lauren Davis was not making a comment about Stosur’s femininity or her status as a woman, merely commenting on the power (and spin) of her shots.

  6. Sabey
    Sabey August 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm |

    Hey Lindsay, this is off topic but thanks for the lovely piece on Kuznetsova that was on! The best I have read there in a while.

Comments are closed.