Serena Williams in the first round of the 2022 US Open, New York
Serena Williams in the first round of the 2022 US Open, New York | (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Tennis | US Open 2022 | Serena Williams’ farewell tour goes through Kontaveit as next generation battle on day three

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Anett Kontaveit [2] v Serena Williams [PR]
  • Tommy Paul [29] v Sebastian Korda
  • Beatriz Haddad Maia [15] v Bianca Andreescu
NEW YORK, USA – Serena Williams’ farewell tour will go through Anett Kontaveit on day three of the US Open as young Americans Tommy Paul and Sebastian Korda face off.

 

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Anett Kontaveit [2] v Serena Williams [PR]  H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Anett Kontaveit [2] v Serena Williams [PR] H2H: First Meeting
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A comfortable opening round win for Anett Kontaveit over Jaqueline Cristian was just what the doctor ordered after the Estonian’s recent lack of form. Kontaveit has had a rough year with illness and injuries with there being no consistency in terms of match practice as well as match wins. Now Kontaveit looks to make a big breakthrough at Grand Slam level, something that has been hard to achieve so far in her career.

Kontaveit will now look to end the career of Serena Williams in her next match with the American providing the Arthur Ashe crowd with an exhilarating performance over Danka Kovinic. Williams showed some elements of her vintage self as she was left inspired by a jam-packed stadium in what was a typical late-night atmosphere in New York. Now Williams looks to delay her retirement and give the US Open crowd one last deep Grand Slam run before bowing out from a 25 year career.

This is a tough match to call given it’s been impossible to predict either player’s form in recent weeks. If Williams’ serve is on form and she can get her footwork moving flawlessly then it could be another vintage performance from her. If Kontaveit can bring her clinical edge and continue to raise her game for the big occasion, then it’s hers to lose. One thing that is guaranteed and that’s another emotional match with an incredible atmosphere once again expected.

Prediction: Kontaveit in three sets.

 

 

Tommy Paul [29] v Sebastian Korda  H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Tommy Paul [29] v Sebastian Korda H2H: Korda leads 3-0
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Tommy Paul has been one of the most improved players on the ATP tour in recent months with his impressive athleticism and big baseline game causing top players trouble. However Paul had to fight hard to overcome Bernabe Zapata Miralles in five sets and will know he can’t be complacent in his approach going forward. A deep run in New York will surely cement his place as one of the best American players on the tour.

Speaking of talented Americans, Paul will now face Sebastian Korda who had to come from a set and a break down against Facundo Bagnis to reach the second round. Korda has had an up and down season but recent wins over Grigor Dimitrov and Frances Tiafoe will give him belief that he is regaining his form once again. Now Korda will look to produce a statement victory against once of his closest American rivals.

This will be a fascinating match-up with both players producing effortless power and smooth movement from the baseline. Paul will look to use his defensive skills to move Korda around the court, while Korda will look to be aggressive from the back of the court. This could go all the way but Korda should edge this one given how effectively his power game has neutralised Paul’s style of play in the past.

Prediction: Korda in four sets.

 

 

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Beatriz Haddad Maia [15] v Bianca Andreescu  H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Beatriz Haddad Maia [15] v Bianca Andreescu H2H: Haddad Maia leads 1-0
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Beatriz Haddad Maia has been one of the biggest revelations in the women’s game this season having gone on an impressive winning streak over the grass court season. Now the Brazilian has taken that game to the American hard court season and will look to make a deep run at the US Open.

Next up for Haddad Maia is former champion Bianca Andreescu who is seemingly working her way back into form after a time of injuries and personal issues affecting her progress. The Canadian gained a very good win over the tricky Frenchwoman Harmony Tan and now Andreescu looks to get back into harmonious form at Grand Slam level as she aims to win her second Grand Slam title.

This should be a great match with Andreescu looking to cause problems with the slice while Haddad Maia will look to continue to serve well and remain resolute in defence. Haddad Maia’s confidence and overall consistency should get the job done here but if Andreescu can serve well then it should be a cracking second round contest.

Prediction: Haddad Maia in three sets.

 

 

 

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