2008 US Open – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 2

Nick’s Picks along with Tennis Week and CBS Sports will bring you live coverage of the US Open from New York City. Check back everyday for insight leading up to the Open and then throughout.

Lindsay Davenport (USA) vs. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS)

There was a question coming in about Davenport’s health, as she had to pull out of the singles of the Olympics because of her knee. It didn’t look like it bothered her in her first round win over Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak. Davenport is a perennial crowd favorite here, and having her in the tournament brings a lot of excitement to the grounds.

Kleybanova spent time at the Academy as a junior, and she is a great girl. She comes into the tournament ranked a career high of #34 in the world. She defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 7-5 in the first round and is playing in the US Open for the very first time.


This will be the first career meeting between Kleybanova and Davenport. Kleybanova hits out on just about every single shot. She is one of the more physical girls on the WTA Tour, and her game is based around this. She has to move Davenport off the court, and keep the ball above the American’s shoulders to have a chance in this match. Davenport’s ability to take the ball early will keep Kleybanova off-balance and cause the Russian to hit defensive balls. Davenport has to serve well, and if the conditions are similar to how they have been (little to no wind), that will also help her chances.

Nick’s Pick – Davenport in 3 sets

Jelena Jankovic (SRB) vs. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE)

Arvidsson is a 24-year old girl who comes into the tournament ranked #63 in the world. This is her third US Open, and is the second time she has reached Round 2. Back in 2006, Arvidsson was ranked #29 in the world so you know she can play.

Jankovic looked great in her first round victory over the talented young American Coco Vandeweghe. If she continues to play like this, her chances of making a deep run are very good. It also helps that she is on the bottom of the draw, where she can avoid facing the Williams’ sisters, Ivanovic, or Safina before the finals.


Jankovic is 1-0 against Arvidsson, with that win coming earlier this year in Miami. That was a three set match, and Arvidsson hung right in there with her. Arvidsson’s favorite shot is the backhand, and she is capable of putting some pressure on the Serb. Jankovic’s serve was definitely more aggressive in the first round, and that is a great sign. She took the ball early and hit it flat, and her backhand was superb. The biggest thing was that she looked healthy. She knows she has needs to get to the finals to regain the #1 ranking, and I don’t see her losing this one.

Nick’s Pick – Jankovic in 2 sets

Alize Cornet (FRA) vs. Bethanie Mattek (USA)

Cornet has steadily moved up the rankings this year, and comes in ranked a career high of #17 in the world. She recently won her first WTA title at Budapest back in July, and then just last week she reached the semifinals at New Haven. One thing that we have seen from her is that she isn’t afraid of anyone out there.

You never know what you are going to see Mattek wearing out there, and the crowd really loves her energy. She has had her best year on tour this year, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, and the semis at Los Angeles. Behind the Williams’ sisters and Davenport, Mattek is the highest ranked American woman checking in at #44.


Cornet and Mattek have never met before, but this promises to be an interesting match. Mattek loves to stand on the baseline and just pound the ball. She has the ability to control the points, but she better be ready for a fight. Cornet prefers the forehand, has a compact swing, and stands right near the baseline. She moves extremely well, and is a bundle of fire. The one area where she is vulnerable is her serve. It doesn’t hurt her, but at the same time it is attackable. To me, this match comes down to Cornet’s movement. She will get to more balls than Mattek is used to, and will force her to hit an extra shot every rally. This is going to be a tight one, but I give the edge to Cornet.

Nick’s Pick – Cornet in 3 sets

Elena Vesnina (RUS) vs. Serena Williams (USA)

Vesnina is one of the many Russians who is ranked inside the top 100. She reached the top 40 earlier this year, but has fallen back to #71. This is the first time in three US Open appearances that she has reached the second round. She does have wins over 20 players this year, so Serena cannot take her lightly.

It took Serena only 56 minutes to get through her first round match. She won 92% of the points on her first serve and didn’t face a break point at any point in the match. If she continues to keep her unforced errors down and serves well, she is going to be very difficult to beat.


This is the first career meeting between Vesnina and Serena. Vesnina is solid from the baseline, comfortable at the net, and moves well. Her biggest weakness is her serve. She often throws in a couple double faults a set, and can struggle getting her first serve in play. Just looking at her stats from the first round, you can see what I am referring too. She had six double faults, and her first serve percentage was 55%. Look for Serena to pick on her serve and control the points form the outset. If Vesnina comes to the net, watch out! Serena loves targets, and won’t hesitate to knock her down!! In the first round, Serena moved well and showed no signs of an injury. I worry about her though. She plays such a physical style of tennis, and this causes her to play long points that take a toll on her body. I just hope she can get through matches quickly so she doesn’t injure herself.

Nick’s Pick – S. Williams in 2 sets


~ by Nick's Picks on August 27, 2008.

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