| By Brian Coleman
Photo credit: Brian Coleman

Number four seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine had to resume her first-round match on Wednesday after the rain postponed things in the second set yesterday. The layoff may have affected Svitolina who came out sluggish on Louis Armstrong Stadium, as she saw Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic win a second set tie-breaker to force a deciding third.

But Svitolina would break twice in the final set and came back from 0-2 down to hang on to victory and advance with a 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-3 win.

“It was a little bit unlucky to stop yesterday because I was playing good and feeling good. She had nothing to lose," Svitolina said. “Today was a little bit of a mess in my head and it was very tough to keep focus.”

She moves on to play Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina, who rolled past Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 7-6(2), 6-1 in the first match inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on day three of the 2017 U.S. Open.

“My confidence is not high at all at this point in time, and I definitely had question marks about what my level would be like coming out today,” said Bouchard. “She was pretty consistent, hit a little bit of a higher, slower ball, stood far back so was able to kind of get a lot of balls. In looking back, I’ll be able to see a lot of things I could have done better but, you know, because I didn’t perform well, she was there to take it.”

In another match that was picked up from Tuesday, American Jennifer Brady held on to beat Andrea Petkovic of Germany, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. The former UCLA star moves into a matchup with 23rd seed Barbora Strycova in the second round.

American CiCi Bellis was upset by Japan’s Nao Hibino, who twice came back from a set down in the final set to hold off the 18-year-old 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

It was a tough match for Bellis, who came out flat in the opening set which resulted in her committing 44 unforced errors in the match. She held a 5-3 lead in the deciding set, but could not close out Hibino, who advances to the second round in Flushing Meadows for the first time where she will take on the winner of 26th seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.

Nicole Gibbs hung on to win her first round match 6-0, 1-6, 6-1 over Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg, which puts her into a showdown with last year’s finalist and current world number one Karolina Pliskova.

The 14th seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France, who has had an outstanding 2017 season up to this point, was upset in her first round match Wednesday, as Romania’s Monica Niculescu rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 win. Niculescu plays compatriot Ana Bogdan next after Bogdan ousted American wild card Taylor Townsend 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Credit all photos to Brian Coleman

American CiCi Bellis was upset by Japan’s Nao Hibino, who twice came back from a set down in the final set on Wednesday, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

 


Japan’s Nao Hibino upset American CiCi Bellis Wednesday in Flushing Meadows

 

Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com