US Open Day 4 Preview
Published August 29, 2012 11:59
NEW YORK, NY, USA - The second round wraps up at Flushing Meadows on Thursday, with the undoubted highlight the evening session's clash between No.6 seed Angelique Kerber and two-time champion Venus Williams.
Thursday, Second Round
Arthur Ashe Stadium
 Angelique Kerber (GER #6) vs. Venus Williams (USA #46)
Head-to-head: Kerber leads 2-1
Angelique Kerber arrived at last year's US Open having lost in the first round of the four previous Slams and desperate for a win. She ended up getting five, before coming up just short against eventual champion Samantha Stosur in the semifinals. This time around expectations are somewhat higher after a spectacular season in which she has notched up a WTA-leading 54 victories and established herself in the Top 10.
The draw, though, has not been kind to Kerber, and in the second round she faces the unseeded player everyone was hoping to steer clear of: Venus Williams. Despite her ongoing battle with the energy-sapping Sjögren's syndrome, Williams still has the game to trouble anyone on her day as she displayed during a recent semifinal run in Cincinnati and a tight loss to Kerber at the Olympics.
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP #39) vs.  Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #2)
Head-to-head: Radwanska leads 1-0
Shotmaking and court craft are sure to come to the fore on Grandstand when Agnieszka Radwanska and Carla Suárez Navarro, two of the game's most aesthetically pleasing players, do battle. No.2 seed Radwanska will start as clear favorite, but after failing to go deep in Montréal or Cincinnai and retiring from her first round match in New Haven a few question marks surround both her form and fitness.
And any dip in the Pole's level is sure to be exploited by Suárez Navarro, who has shown on several occasions that she has the game and mentality to upset the very best. Wins this summer over Samantha Stosur and Sabine Lisicki showcased this big match mentality and just how devastating her elegant groundstrokes can be when in full flow.
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ #45) vs.  Roberta Vinci (ITA #19)
Head-to-head: Vinci leads 1-0
With three WTA titles and a Top 20 debut, last season was one to remember for Roberta Vinci. After an inconsistent start to 2012, the Italian has rediscovered this form over the summer months, triumphing in Dallas and arriving in New York playing some characteristically stylish tennis.
Yaroslava Shvedova, her second round opponent, has been in similarly good touch of late too, going deep at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon. The only previous meeting between the two came last year in Barcelona and went Vinci's way, although with her athleticism and occasionally devastating ball striking Shvedova is more than capable of exacting revenge in New York.
Around the grounds…
Three-time US Open champion Serena Williams faces María José Martínez Sánchez on Arthur Ashe, while Sara Errani, Ana Ivanovic and Maria Kirilenko will also be looking to book a third round spot.