2010 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 1
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Sabine Lisicki (GER)
Vandeweghe is one of the top young Americans coming up, and I am excited to watch her over the next couple of years. She’s currently ranked #168 in the world and she did reached the quarters in San Diego earlier this month beating Wimbledon-finalist, Vera Zvonareva, along the way.
Lisicki was the “it” girl last year, but she has been slowed down by injuries for much of 2010. She makes her home at my Academy and I can tell you she has been working extremely hard to regain her form from 2009. She is fun to watch so I certainly hope she makes a nice run at this tournament.
Lisicki is 1-0 against Vandeweghe, with that win coming back in 2008 on the hard courts of Miami. I’ve been watching Vandeweghe play for a long time now and I would have loved to work with her because she is such a fantastic athlete. She can hit just about every shot in the book and sometimes I think she has too many shots in her bag and she should just focus on the things she does best. Lisicki hasn’t played much this year because of injuries and she has been up and down. She goes for it on every single shot – Go Big or Go Home – that’s her philosophy. If Lisicki is able to serve big and win quick points she will win this match, if not, the edge goes to Vandeweghe. This match could go either way, but I’ve got to go with my girl Sabine!
Nick’s Pick – Lisicki in 3 sets
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) vs. Simona Halep (ROU)
Jankovic hasn’t had great results since the French Open, but I can tell you for a fact that she has been training extremely hard over the last couple of weeks at the Academy and she is in fantastic shape. I’ve been working on her fundamentals and she has been working on-court with Chip Brooks and Jose Lambert and I believe she is playing great tennis right now.
Halep is an up-and-coming Romanian who is currently ranked #95 in the world. This is her first appearance in the main draw of the US Open and it’s only the second time she has been in the main draw of any Grand Slam.
This is the first career meeting between the 25-year old Jankovic and the 18-year old Halep. The young Romanian plays extremely aggressive. She stands right on the baseline and will pound the ball from both sides. She is small (5’6”), but she makes up for her lack of height with a very big game. Jankovic cannot let Halep frustrate her and will have to use her athleticism and great defensive skills to make Halep hit extra balls. Jankovic needs to just forget about everything that has happened in the past and just focus on this match. If she does that, she will win easily.
Nick’s Pick – Jankovic in 2 sets
Sam Stosur (AUS) vs. Elena Vesnina (RUS)
Stosur comes in ranked #6 in the world and is having one of the best years of her life in the singles game. After reaching the finals of the French Open, Stosur has been a little off, losing in the first round of Wimbledon and the third round of San Diego. She has the game to make a big impact in NYC. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
Vesnina comes into the tournament playing pretty well. She reached the finals of Istanbul and then beat Schiavone in Cincinnati. The 39th-ranked Russian had her best result at the US Open last year when she reached the third round before falling to Zvonareva in straight sets.
Vesnina is 1-0 against Stosur, beating her at New Haven last year in three sets. When you see Stosur, you see a perfect physical specimen. She has spent so much time in the gym in the last couple of years and the results have certainly paid off in 2010. She has the best kick serve in the game right now from both the ad and deuce side and this kicking serve has definitely confused the enemy. When it is on, she is able to get lots of easy points due to short and defensive returns. Vesnina has a really strong game all the way around. She really doesn’t have a stand-out weakness, but she is at times inconsistent. If Stosur is serving well and feeling good she will move on.
Nick’s Pick – Stosur in 2 sets
Venus Williams (USA) vs. Roberta Vinci (ITA)
I am saying this right now: Venus Williams is the favorite to win this tournament. She hasn’t played since Wimbledon, but she can step on a hard court at any time and be the best player out there. She’s won this title twice before and her record here is 54-9! Look out for Venus during this tournament!
Vinci is a 27-year old Italian who comes into the tournament ranked #65 in the world. She’s been as high as #37 and she is also a very good doubles player. Her best result at the US Open came back in 2008 when she reached the second round and she has never been past the third round of any Grand Slam.
Venus is 1-0 against Vinci, beating her earlier this year on the hard courts of Miami in straight sets. While only half of the “W” sisters are playing at the US Open, I wouldn’t be surprised if the family still took home a “W” at the end of the tournament! As long as she gets that forehand under control and her first serve is consistent she is going to be tough to beat. She’s beaten Vinci already once this year so I am sure she knows her game. I look for Venus to advance.
Nick’s Pick – V. Williams in 2 sets