The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd were still recovering from the 2 hours and 20 minutes Pliskova/Zhang match when the 20th seed American, Coco Vandeweghe stepped on to the Centre court to face the 10th seed, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
Everyone was bracing themselves for a cracker with their varying playing styles and personalities.
Radwanska, a former World No. 2, who has been dubbed “The Professor” is yet to win a Grand Slam title. She is level headed on court, a great anticipator and one of the best shot makers on the WTA tour, earning her the Fan’s Favourite Shot of the Year title from 2013 – 2016. She also holds the Fan’s Favourite Singles player title from 2011 – 2016. My favourite nickname for her is “The Magician”, as she more often than not forces her opponents to play one shot too many, which she generally capitalises on. Unfortunately her main weakness is her serve, where she lacks power.
Vandeweghe on the other hand, is fiery, explosive and has no trouble letting her racquets fly. I dubbed her the “seed slayer” at this year’s Australian Open after she defeated Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza before succumbing to Venus Williams in the semi-finals. Vandeweghe’s one weakness is her inability to move fast around the court. She is currently being coached by former Wimbledon champion, Pat Cash.
As expected, Radwanska soon took the lead in the first set, with Vandeweghe hitting some wild shots all over the court. The American need to settle down and once she did, won five straight games in a row. Radwanska then held serve. Vandeweghe had a chance to serve the set out, but a string of errors from the American resulted in Radwanska breaking serve. Vandeweghe grew more frustrated as the set progressed and sent her racquet and the ball flying, which in hindsight, helped her going forward, as she won the next two games to close out the first set.
The second set proved to be a lot tighter with it going according to service games until Radwanska managed to break the Vandeweghe serve and take the set.
Vandeweghe picked up momentum in the third set, finding herself up with a break. Radwanska was not finished yet and used her mixture of shots to level the scores. But in the end, it was the gritty Vandeweghe who managed to get under Radwanska’s skin, get the break and when her opponent hit a backhand return over the baseline, it was game, set and match for the delighted American.
The final score after 2 hours and 54 minutes of scintillating tennis was 7-5 4-6 6-4.