Jennifer Brady could do no wrong on Thursday, as she put together a dominating performance over the 23rd-seeded Barbora Strycova, downing the Czech 6-1, 6-1 on Grandstand to book her spot in the third round of the 2017 U.S. Open.
“Once I got the first break I was, you know, pretty happy about that. And then I was just focused on holding my serve,” said Brady. “Eventually I broke again. Yeah, I was kind of steamrolling.”
Indeed she was. After cruising through the first set in just 24 minutes, the Harrisburg, Pa. native continued her domination by building a 5-0 lead in the second set.
She had two match points in the sixth game of the set, but Strycova would save both and come back to earn the break and avoid the bagel. But her attempted comeback would last just one game as Brady broke right back in the ensuing game to close things out and wrap up the win in just 56 minutes.
Brady converted on six of her eight break point opportunities and committed just 12 unforced errors. The victory continues Brady’s excellent 2017 season, which has already seen her reach the fourth round at the Australian Open earlier in the year and a second-round appearance at Wimbledon.
“Playing on the big stage, obviously there is more anxiety. You know, the atmosphere is what really makes it good,” Brady said of playing in high-pressure Grand Slam matches. “Just almost forgetting about that and just focusing on what I want to do on the court and not getting too caught up in how many people are watching, how many people are cheering for me, things like that. Just going, playing, getting the job done and going home.”
The former UCLA Bruins star will look to do that once again when she squares off with the winner of the Romanian clash between Monica Niculescu and Ana Bogdan.
After going the full three sets in her opening round match, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina made sure to get out of her second round match much quicker on Thursday. The number four-seeded Svitolina defeated Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-4 in the first match in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday, ripping 29 winners and breaking three times in four chances to move into the third round.
“I just try to take it one match at a time. Of course, I know that I’m a high seed and there are expectations, but everyone is going on court and trying to beat you and doing everything that they can,” said Svitolina. “For me, it’s very important just to be there with my game and to fight for the next round.”
Svitolina moves on to play the winner of the match between the 25th-seeded Daria Gavrilova of Australia and American Shelby Rogers.
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko (pictured above) needed just 91 minutes to move past Sorana Cirstea, 6-4, 6-4. The young Latvian saved 10 break points throughout the match, and will play the winner of the match between American Christina McHale and Russia’s Daria Kasatkina next.
Following up her upset against defending champion Angelique Kerber on Tuesday, Japan’s Naomi Osaka hung on to beat Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. She fired 35 winners and too advantage of 32 unforced errors from Allertova to move into a matchup against Kaia Kanepi. The Estonian qualifier won her fifth straight match here in Flushing Meadows 6-4, 6-2 over Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com.