US Open: Aryna Sabalenka’s demolishing form; Sloane Stephens ousts Coco Gauff

Aryna Sabalenka completed a 6-3, 6-1 routing of Tamara Zidansek at the US Open on Wednesday. The second seed needed just 59 minutes to wrap up her victory.

The Belarusian lost just four points on her first serve. She hit 24 winners, thrice as many as the Slovenian’s eight and finished with 10 unforced errors. Zidansek, in comparison, had 19 unforced errors. Sabalenka broke Zidansek four times in the match and saved the two break points she faced. Both of these break points then came in the first set with the second set proving relatively more one-sided for the world no. 2.

In the third round, Sabalenka will play 26th seed, Danielle Collins. The American defeated Zidansek’s compatriot, Kaja Juvan 6-4, 6-2 in their second-round match. Sabalenka holds a 2-0 head-to-head against Collins, although both of those two matches were played in 2019.

US Open: Sloane Stephens turns back time 

Sloane Stephens upset 21st seed Coco Gauff in their second-round derby. The former champion at Flushing Meadows took just 66 minutes to claim a 6-4, 6-2 win over the teenager. Stephens had two fewer winners than Gauff – 11 to the latter’s 13 but also had six fewer unforced errors than her younger compatriot – 19 to 25.

For a place in the second week, Stephens will play either 16th seed Angelique Kerber or Anhelina Kalinina. The second-round clash between the German and Ukrainian was the only women’s singles match postponed to Thursday following heavy rain in the city.

The other upset of the day came courtesy of Kamila Rakhimova. The lucky loser ousted 32nd seed, Ekaterina Alexandrova, in their second-round Russian derby. Rakhimova won 6-4, 6-1 in 64 minutes. For a place in the round-of-16, Rakhimova will take on Barbora Krejcikova.

The eighth-seeded Czech, who’s making her main draw singles debut at Flushing Meadows this year, notched a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over Christina McHale.

Meanwhile, 19th seed Elena Rybakina also reached the third round with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Caroline Garcia. Daria Kasatkina also took her place in the round-of-16 at the US Open. Kasatkina was the only player whose match went the distance on Wednesday. The Russian came from a set down to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 against Marketa Vondrousova after two hours and 17 minutes of play. 

Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/USTA