U.S. wildcard Beatrice Capra advanced into the third round in her first US Open on Thursday, aided by No. 18-seeded French opponent Aravane Rezai who committed a generous 49 unforced errors in a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win for the American.
The 18-year-old who trains in Florida has U.S. tennis boosters atwitter, but the neophyte’s true stock will be shown in the third round when she faces former US Open champ Maria Sharapova, who on Thursday blitzed Czech Iveta Benesova 6-1, 6-2.
“Winning today, I’d have to say that was probably one of the best moments of my life,” Capra said. “This whole experience has been unreal, and I’m so happy.”
Capra went from no entry into the Open to being invited by the USTA to play their US Open Wildcard Playoff in Boca Raton, Fla. — then winning the event.
“Three days into my week off, the USTA called me and asked if I wanted to play the wildcard playoff,” Capra said. “I kind of went in there thinking, well, it will be another match before the junior US Open, and it will just be no pressure. I’ve already lost my chance to get a wildcard, so this is just a bonus. I went in there and I just played so freely. Each match that I won, it gave me more confidence. So after I won that I was pretty excited, but I never would have thought I would be in the third round here today.”
Capra was the only American advancing on the day after U.S. Fed Cup player Bethanie Mattek-Sands, serving for the match at 5-4 in the third against German Andrea Petkovic, tightly dropped three straight games to exit the singles event.
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki lived-up to her top billing on Thursday, destroying Taipei’s Chang Kai-Chen 6-0, 6-0.
“My body is feeling great,” said Wozniacki, who won three of her last four events entering the US Open, causing concerns of overplaying. “I’m feeling fine. I had those five weeks after Wimbledon where I just practiced, and actually that’s — I almost feel like that’s harder than playing matches. I really like playing matches. I would like to get into that rhythm. Especially when you’re winning, you have that confidence. You go out on the court and you know what to do. You’re in your own bubble. That’s what I’m aiming for.”
In other Top 10-seeded results, No. 4 Jelena Jankovic fought through a three-set encounter with Croat qualifier Mirjana Lucic, No. 7 Vera Zvonareva defeated German Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 7-6(5), and No. 9 Aggie Radwanska was upset by China’s Shuai Peng.
“She played really well. I knew that she hits the ball so hard, but she really gave me a hard time out there,” Jankovic said. “I was just able to stay strong, especially in that third set, and finish the match in my favor. So I’m pleased with that.”
Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder was another upset maker Thursday, defeating No. 22 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 7-6(2), 6-4.
Friday’s highlights are an all-looker in (12) Elena Dementieva vs. (24) Daniela Hantuchova, (2) Kim Clijsters vs. (27) Petra Kvitova, under-the-radar (3) Venus Williams vs. Luxembourg breakout player Mandy Minella, (6) Francesca Schiavone vs. (29) Alona Bondarenko, (16) Shahar Peer vs. (19) Flavia Pennetta, and (20) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. upset queen Gisela Dulko.
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