All the key facts and talking points as second-round play gets under way at the final Grand Slam of the year.
Alex Macpherson
August 29, 2018

LEARNING

Two-time US Open champion Venus Williams's tough draw continues: having battled past 2004 titlist Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round, Venus next faces renowned giant-killer Camila Giorgi. The Italian is going for her 25th career Top 20 win, of which five have come at Slams - though only once in New York, a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 upset of Caroline Wozniacki in the 2013 third round. Venus and Giorgi have played once before, in the third round of the 2015 Australian Open; Giorgi served for the match, but Venus came back to win 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-1.

No.7 seed Elina Svitolina has a second-round date with Tatjana Maria - the player who evicted her from Wimbledon in the first round 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1. The German won just three of her first 18 matches this year, but turned her form around on grass with her first title in Mallorca and the Svitolina upset; since June, her record is 9-3. Overall, Maria leads the head-to-head against the Ukrainian 3-2, including their only previous meeting on US hard courts - a 6-4, 6-2 win in the second round of the 2012 ITF $50,000 event in The Bronx.

No.9 seed Julia Goerges faces 2014 US Open semifinalist Ekaterina Makarova for the second week running, having defeated the Russian 6-4, 6-2 in the New Haven quarterfinals. That was Goerges' first win in three attempts against Makarova, who had previously taken their matches in the fourth round of the 2015 Australian Open and in last year's Washington final.

2010 US Open girls' champion Daria Gavrilova with runner-up Yulia Putintseva (Getty)
2010 US Open girls' champion Daria Gavrilova with runner-up Yulia Putintseva (Getty)

A clash of former junior champions will take place between No.25 seed Daria Gavrilova, the 2010 girls' winner, and wildcard Victoria Azarenka, the 2005 junior titlist; it will be their first encounter. Gavrilova's 6-0, 6-0 victory over Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round was her first ever double bagel win at WTA level, and only third at any professional level following her defeats of Lyann Hoang in the second round of the 2012 ITF $25,000 event in Traralgon, and of Peangtarn Plipuech in the quarterfinals of the 2014 ITF $25,000 event in Bangkok.

No.15 seed Elise Mertens will reprise April's Lugano semifinal against Vera Lapko today. The Belgian won that encounter - which was Lapko's maiden semifinal - 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 en route to her second title out of three this season so far.

Ana Bogdan has a 3-3 career record against players ranked between No.11 and No.20, but will seek her first Top 10 win against No.8 seed Karolina Pliskova today. The Czech, who is bidding for back-to-back victories for the first time since Wimbledon, defeated Bogdan in their only previous meeting, 6-2, 7-5 in the second round of Bad Gastein in 2014.

Lara Arruabarrena will seek to break her 0-9 record in Slam second rounds today against No.23 seed Barbora Strycova - the joint most losses with no wins at this stage among active players, tied with Urszula Radwanska. Arruabarrena is 2-2 against Strycova to date, with her wins coming in the Paris qualifying rounds in 2014 and in Madrid last year; the Czech's victories were in Fed Cup play in 2017 and this January, in the second round of the Australian Open.

2005 US Open girls' champion Victoria Azarenka, with boys' winner Ryan Sweeting (Getty)
2005 US Open girls' champion Victoria Azarenka, with boys' winner Ryan Sweeting (Getty)

Qualifiers and Grand Slam debutantes Anhelina Kalinina (the World No.134) and Karolina Muchova (the World No.202) both face a steep learning curve today. Neither have ever played a Top 40 player before, and between them own just one victory over a Top 100 player (Kalinina's win over Taylor Townsend in the Charlottesville ITF $80,000 semifinals this year). Today, 21-year-old Kalinina takes on defending champion Sloane Stephens and 22-year-old Muchova squares off against two-time major winner Garbiñe Muguruza. The Spaniard has not lost to a player outside the Top 200 since losing to World No.202 Maria Elena Camerin in the second round of the Olomouc ITF $100,000 event in July 2012; Stephens' last loss to a player outside the Top 100 was her first-round defeat by World No.136 Risa Ozaki at Washington 2016.

Before her first-round defeat of Caroline Dolehide, Carina Witthoeft had won just one WTA main draw match in her past 10 stretching back to Miami, and had just a 4-16 record at that level this season. The German now faces No.17 seed Serena Williams, and will bid to upset a seeded player at a major for the sixth time in her career.

Four teenagers have made the second round of this year's US Open, of whom 18-year-old wildcard Claire Liu - who takes on No.19 seed Anastasija Sevastova today - is the youngest. The others are 19-year-olds Marketa Vondrousova, Sofia Kenin and Vera Lapko. Four mothers have also progressed to this stage: Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Tatjana Maria and Vera Zvonareva.

TRENDING

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ORDER OF PLAY

Click here for today's full order of play at the US Open.

READING

Get an inside peek into Elina Svitolina's US Open preparation, from meditation to adjusting equipment for night matches, with Corey Seymour for Vogue.

39-year-old Patty Schnyder may have lost to Maria Sharapova yesterday, but the mother-of-one pushed the No.22 seed all the way in her first Grand Slam main draw of her comeback. But although Schnyder said the match was "fun", she's still not planning too far ahead, writes Howard Fendrich for The Washington Post.

Israeli qualifier Julia Glushko overcame mid-match injury and soaring temperatures to defeat Monica Niculescu in one of yesterday's most dramatic first-round ties - but the "new and improved" Glushko is "adaptable and... a fighter", writes Howard Blas for The Jerusalem Post.

The 100 Club series on wtatennis.com honors the players who have cracked that barrier for the first time in 2018 - several of whom are making waves at the US Open. Get to know Sofia Kenin, Sachia Vickery, Wang Yafan, Tamara ZidansekAna Bogdan, Bernarda Pera and Rebecca Peterson here.

WATCHING