Wednesday, August 17, 2011
A very fatigued Serena Williams rests after her defeat of Lucie Hradecka, CZE.
Too much too soon?
"I'm going to have to figure that out," responded Serena with regard to whether she is overplaying. "Nothing against Cincinnati or Toronto or the Stanfords that I've played, but everyone is preparing for the U.S. Open. I have to be smart and make sure it's not too much."
Serena is currently topping the U.S. Open Series Leaderboard with 170 points, having won the last two titles. On Tueday at the Western and Southern Open, Cincinnati, Ohio, she began to rack up even more points with a first-round-straight-sets win over the Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka, 3-6, 6-7 (5).
At the same time, the match took a gradual toll on Serena that was very evident in her play and body language as well. It appeared towards the end of the second set that she would either be withdrawing, or calling for the trainer. In typical Serena fashion though, neither occurred -- she trudged along and found a way to win.
Hopefully a good night's rest will do the trick for play on Wednesday... wouldn't want to see her have to drop out of the Series -- and definitely not the U.S. Open!
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga used a powerful serve and a spotless return game to pick up his first career win at the Western & Southern Open, 6-3, 6-4 over Marin Cilic in the first round on Tuesday.
Serving near 130 mph, Tsonga hit nine aces and took advantage of more than 20 unforced errors by Cilic. "It was really a fluid match," Tsonga said. "Like everything was easy for me today, to serve and everything."
"This morning in warmups, I was feeling really good," said Tsonga, who has been battling an arm injury. "And during the match I felt really good."
After beating Cilic for the first time in his career, Tsonga next will play qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr. in the second round today or Thursday.
American wild card James Blake will meet Switzerland's Roger Federer in a repeat of the 2007 Cincinnati final. Federer holds a 9-1 record against the former World No. 4, with his only loss coming in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Blake, who currently stands at No. 84 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, comfortably rolled past Italian Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-2 in 58 minutes as he converted three of his five break points.