vendredi 30 août 2013

Hantuchova ends Duval's dream US Open

By McCarton Ackerman
Thursday, August 29, 2013
WHAT HAPPENED: Just two days after pulling off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament in defeating No. 11 Samantha Stosur in the opening round of the women’s singles event, American qualifier Victoria Duval had another daunting task on Thursday: topple former Top 5 player Daniela Hantuchova in the second round. Court 17 was filled to capacity for the teenager who endeared herself to fans with her feisty on-court personality and charming interviews. Unfortunately for the pro-Duval crowd, Hantuchova showed the form that has made her a fixture on tour for over a decade, easily defeating the American, 6-2, 6-3.
The packed Court 17 crowd thought they were in for another upset early on, as Duval forced a forehand error from Hantuchova to take a 2-1 lead. But that would be the last bit of momentum the American had in the set. While the relatively slow speed of Duval’s serve threw off Stosur in the opening round, Hantuchova thrived on the reduced space. Stepping into the court on all of Duval’s second serves, Hantuchova struck her returns with authority, breaking Duval three times to take the opening set.
The second set was nearly identical to the first. Duval struck a forehand winner to take a 2-1 lead and gave the crowd hope that we would see yet another comeback from her, but Hantuchova raised the level of her game when it was required. As Hantuchova began to reduce her unforced error count, Duval became visibly frustrated as hers increased, with the qualifier hitting 27 unforced errors throughout the evening. Hantuchova rolled through the final three games of the match, with Duval sending one final forehand wide to wrap things up after 72 minutes of play.
"I think today I couldn't quite get myself going," Duval said afterward. "But I've had a great experience this whole tournament ... and Daniela played really well today. I'm just going to take what I learned here and take it to the other tournaments."
WHAT IT MEANS: Although Hantuchova arrived at the US Open on a three-match losing streak, she has enjoyed plenty of success in New York, reaching the women’s singles quarterfinals here in 2002. Having reached the third round here for the first time since 2010, Hantuchova is now a favorite to make the second week. She will play qualifier Julia Glushko of Israel in a third round match on Saturday; Glushko has never gone this far before in a Grand Slam event.
If Hantuchova can get through that match, she will either play No. 7 seed Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic or American Alison Riske. With Hantuchova leading 2-0 in her head-to-head with Riske, and Kvitova being known for producing streaky tennis at the US Open, it’s possible the Slovak could match her career best performance at the final Grand Slam of the year.
THE QUESTION: Do you think Hantuchova can reach the quarterfinals of the US Open once again?

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