The Tennis Advisors provides US OPEN daily previews
For the US OPEN, in association with www.tennisbloggers.com ,The Tennis Advisors (www.thetennisadvisors.com) offers daily short previews for non-televised matches and extended for televised, commencing from the first qualifying date up to the final match.
From first round matches , two match previews are provided:
MONICA PUIG- ALISA KLEYBANOVA
Head To Head (0-0).
Monica Puig’s entrance in the World of Professional Tennis has begun way after Kleybanova was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma back in July 2011. Therefore, the chances of having a meeting in the last two Premier Events where the Russian competed, were theoretically minor. Nevertheless, when checking common opponents’ results in 2013, a notable stat is released: Both defeated Sofia Arvidsson but lost to Eugenie Bouchard and Angelique Kerber.
FACTNOTE: When comparing common results, it is a clear scene that Kleybanova is on her way back. Puig put formidable resistance to Kerber when she was just introducing her self back in January, but since then, she showed that she is capable of big things.
Recent News-Overall Planning in relation to this Tournament
Puig has been trying hard to make her self available in the big stages and she had to do it all the way from the qualies. Wins over Burdette, Scheepers, Arvidsson and Garcia create a positive momentum but she showed some lack of consistency when facing her teen rival (Bouchard) and experienced Zakopalova.
Kleybanova returned in action in May, and after winning ITF event in Landisville ($10k), she was denied a wild card in SW19, after losing protected ranking deadline. She then carefully selected to compete in another two minor events ($10k, and $50k respectively) where both were lost in the final. After playing some good doubles in Word Team Tennis, she entered WTA Event in Toronto, losing to Bouchard in her first WTA meeting, but this was something to be expected. She then travelled to Cincinnati, where she got a thrilling win over Arvidsson, and then fought for a set against Angelique Kerber, providing some recovery signs.
FACTNOTE: Both are pumped up for this 1st round encounter which is probably the most important match of the year so far. Kleybanova stayed less time on court but this should be done this way, as her return should be carefully planned, with regular breaks. Puig played 5 matches after Alisa’s last attempt, but her physical condition is not expected to be mitigated.
US OPEN History
The Russian has never made an impact in this particular part of the season. Since her last appearance in 2010, she never overcome 2nd round, even when she was the huge favourite over the 72nd ranked Petra Kvitova(!) back in 2009. Puig’s sole attempt was stopped in qualies 1st round, losing a close match to Sharon Fischman.
FACTNOTE: Losing to Errani,Kvitova and Davenport is not an embarrassing way of leaving a tournament and Kleybanova never gave an impression of an easy obstacle, especially when she was competing as a TOP 30 player. Puig’s game has improved tremendously since last August and her additional acquired confidence , could make this an even more interesting encounter.
Recent Level Of Play
Kleybanova’s supremacy based on her respectable career is matching her admirable will for life and fight into the courts. On her second attempt to comeback (March 2012 was a short but failed one), she looks well composed and determined to get back to the desired levels. Competing with one of the brightest new stars, she will have a good chance to prove her fitness, skills and mental stability. Her recent results showed that the best days are still to come.
Puig’s vast improvement could be seen as continuous, as the 5’ 7’’, showed some distinctive tennis so far, imposing her baseline game as the aspect to be reckoned.
FACTNOTE: Puig’s recent form should give her a marginal edge, but this should not be an easy one as Kleybanova after 3 tough matches and 10 days of rest, could wear her best return suit.
Important Hard court Trends during last Month (Including ATP Challenger Tour)
MONICA PUIG ALISA KLEYBANOVA
TOTAL MATCHES (ONE MONTH) 9 (6-3) 3 (1-2)
ACES PER GAME 0.37 0.24
DOUBLE FAULTS PER GAME 0.41 0.29
1ST SERVE % 59.2% 52.5%
1ST SERVE POINTS WON 68.6% 62.1%
2ND SERVE POINTS WON 47.4% 26.7%
BREAK POINTS FACED PER GAME 0.61 0.94
BREAK POINTS SAVED PER GAME 0.33 0.35
BREAK POINTS CHANCES PER GAME 0.66 0.82
BREAK POINTS WON PER GAME 0.40 0.41
Not the best case when you have to compare two players with unequal last 12 months history, therefore we chose to bring in stats from both players last month’s action. Over the Russian’s three competitive matches, it can be observed that her problem arises on second serves and that may be due to lack of professional matches and the quality of the players she faced. Break points faced is a big number not dealt adequately yet (0.35/0.94=37%), but she gets some points back when she is threatening her opponent (0.41/0.82=50%). Puig’s looks more balanced, with strong indications on her 2nd serve points won, as she is not gearing down power, whereas her potentials are revealed by her promising stats on break points saved (0.33/0.61=54%), and the break points opportunities (0.40/0.66=61%) converted into games.
What to expect-Final Verdict
This should be an interesting match to follow. Kleybanova’s undisputable skills could be in contrast with Puig’s rising form and powerful baseline strokes.
Alisa has made a wise comeback this time, allowing herself enough space between the tournaments so far, whereas she had her doubles skills exercised over two tournaments, partnering experienced Vania King, adding more practice in World Tennis Teams.
Puig’s enthusiasm and adequate level of play will be a solid obstacle and Kleybanova should at least repeat her 1st set performance against Kerber, if she wants to cope with her.
Kleybanova will do her best to make this encounter gruelling, but it is felt that Puig will just be a step ahead to make the 2nd round.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC-ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES
Head To Head (0-0). Not a single meeting stands between the two but during the 2013 they have been fighting against common opponents, with not-so-flattering results. Especially Mladenovic has managed to win only the newcomer Yulia Putintseva, while Medina Garrigues won South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers.
FACT NOTE: Both have lost severely from common opponents, but Mladenovic has lost easily, even when the opponent (Scheepers) was out of form.
Recent News-Overall Planning in relation to this Tournament
After winning Grand Slam mixed doubles trophy (partnering Daniel Nestor), she rushed into the next tournament in Palermo, having only some hours to adjust her game to the new conditions. Still, she managed to win another doubles title, dropping singles in the second round and failing to win a match in her three subsequent attempts.
Medina Garrigues is in average form this year, and her only distinction was a final in a competitive ITF Tournament in Marseille (clay), right just after Roland Garros.
FACTNOTE: Both players played some hard court matches recently, but Medina Garrigues even though lost in qualies 2nd round to Ayumi Morita in New Haven, kept her feet on the court as she reached the Doubles Final with doubles specialist Katarina Srebotnik, which might be crucial in terms of fatigue.
US OPEN History
The Spaniard displays a non stop action during the last 10 years, reaching 3rd round and recording some decent wins, but it’s a the fact that she doesn’t feel particularly comfortable on this surface.
The Frenchman is participating for fourth time, and could be remember for her last year’s run, when she managed two nice upsets (Erakovic, Pavlyuchenkova) as a wild card, before falling to Bartoli.
FACTNOTE: Mladenovic might hold the best memories from last year’s run, and despite her mediocre form, she could have a slight advantage.
Recent Level of Play
Both have been playing on average terms recently but their doubles activity maintained their form, when trying to build momentum for this important match.
Medina Garrigues was playing until Saturday in New Haven, partnering doubles specialist Katarina Srebotnik, losing in final to an in form pair of Sania Mirza and Jie Zhang. This could just rise her belief that things might change in singles draw too.
Important Hard court Trends during 12 Months (INCLUDING CHALLENGER/ITF CIRCUIT LEVEL)
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES
TOTAL MATCHES (12 MONTHS) 15(7-8) 23(8-15)
ACES PER GAME 0.34 0.20
DOUBLE FAULTS PER GAME 0.38 0.19
1ST SERVE % 56.4% 59.8%
1ST SERVE POINTS WON 64.8% 63.0%
2ND SERVE POINTS WON 43.0% 44.2%
BREAK POINTS FACED PER GAME 0.72 0.80
BREAK POINTS SAVED PER GAME 0.34 0.41
BREAK POINTS CHANCES PER GAME 0.84 0.79
BREAK POINTS WON PER GAME 0.36 0.31
FACTNOTE: Both players have been quite unpredictable over their hard court presence. Mladenovic tends to deliver more double faults, but on the same time her serve does better things when hits the boxes. Medina Garrigues is able to erase more Break Point Threats (0.41/0.80=50%), whereas Mladenovic creates and converts more Break Point Opportunities (0.36/0.84=43%), in relation to the Spaniard’s (0.31/0.79=39%).
What to Expect-Final Verdict
Apparently this match could be evolved in a gruelling derby, if both confirm their above profile characteristics. Both players desperately need this as a boosting step up, as they are seeking to turn their bad form into a productive fortnight. For those selecting court eleven afternoon session, this could turn into a quite unpredictable encounter, as both players are expected to lose their serves more than once. An interesting fact is that Mladenovic lost only once over the last 12 months, when she is the favourite and gets into a decider. That match was in Palermo after allowing her self no time to capitalize her mixed doubles trophy, losing to Cabeza Candela in the tie break. Mladenovic should be the one taking the 2nd round ticket even if the match ends that way again. Fatigue should not be used as an excuse this time.