Au revoir Rezai as Capra does an ‘Oudin’
Originally published on: 03/09/10 10:42
A year after 17-year-old Melanie Oudin became America’s new tennis sweetheart, world No.371 Beatrice Capra laid the foundations to become the next teenage darling in New York after shocking Aravane Rezai for a spot in the third round.
The 18-year-old won less points and couldn’t match the French-Iranian No.18 seed for power, but it was the American who ended the tie beaming from ear-to-ear, claiming a 7-5 2-6 6-3 victory in her first career encounter with a top 20 player.
Not only that, it was Capra’s very first tour-level main draw run, let alone her first appearance in a Grand Slam.
“I’d have to say that was probably one of the best moments of my life,” beamed the teenager. “This whole experience has been unreal, and I’m so happy.
“Being able to compete with her [Rezai] in the first couple of games gave me the confidence that I could do well in my match.”
In defeat, Rezai, who made the fourth round of the US Open as a 19-year-old in 2006, managed a meaty 34 winners, but was undone by 49 unforced errors. A bad day at the office was compounded when she threw in a double fault that handed Capra the chance to serve for the match at 5-3 in the deciding set.
The Maryland-born wildcard duly did just that, and will meet 14th seed and 2006 champ Maria Sharapova in the third round. In an error-strewn performance that didn’t really reflect the eventual 6-1 6-2 scoreline, Sharapova defeated Benesova despite hitting only 43 per-cent of first serves in in the opening set. Fortunately Benesova was no better, managing only 39 per cent of first serves between the lines.
In considerably more impressive form, Caroline Wozniacki notched up her 15th match win (to just one loss) since Wimbledon, demolishing Chang Kai-Chen 6-0 6-0.
It was another characteristically steady performance from the top seed – the closest the Dane came to losing serve was in the final game of the match when she was pushed to two deuce points, before crunching a winner down the line for a simple victory.
Twenty-year-old Wozniacki faces Chan Yung-Jan (another Taipei native) – a straight sets winner over Tamira Paszek – in the third round.
Jelena Jankovic needed two hours and three sets to see off Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic, who was kept off the tour for several years due to financial constraints and injuries. But the 28-year-old made Jankovic work hard for her win out on Louis Armstrong court.
“She played really well,” Jankovic said. “I knew that she hits the ball so hard, but she really gave me a hard time out there.”
The Serb, who didn’t have ideal preparation for the New York slam after suffering early upsets in Cincinnati and at the Rogers Cup, revealed that, though her game has not yet returned to top gear – she is moving in the right direction.
“I think I played much better than in the first round, so I’m happy with that,” Jankovic reasoned.
Vera Zvonareva is also through to round three, defeating Germany’s Sabine Lisicki 6-1 7-6(5) in a match that saw a mammoth 13 service breaks. Despite looking less than comfortable on serve, the Russian is targeting an improvement on her fourth round best in New York, having already picked up titles in both the women’s and mixed doubles – in 2006 and 2004 respectively – at Flushing Meadows.