September 3, 2020 – Petra Martic and Borna Coric are the first Croatian representatives to advance to the US Open’s third round. Donna Vekic and Marin Cilic will play in the second round today.
Petra Martic was the first of the Croatian representatives to advance to the 3rd round of the US Open, after defeating Ukrainian Katerina Bondarenko (349th on the WTA list) in the 2nd round on Wednesday without any major problems. Martic celebrated 6:3, 6:4.
Petra was especially dominant at the beginning of the first set, where she quickly took a 5:1 lead. Bondarenko reduced it to 5:3, but couldn’t do more than that.
The second set was far more uncertain and was decided after a break in the 10th game. Martic scored eight aces with a first-serve percentage of 64 percent and used only four of 16 break points.
To advance to the round of 16, she will play against Russian Varvara Gracheva, the 102nd-best player on the WTA list. They played recently in the 1st round of the WTA tournament in Prague, where Petra was better in two sets.
Borna Coric also advanced to the third round of the US Open and thus surpassed last year’s result when he was forced to hand over the match to Grigor Dimitrov due to injury in the second round.
After a smooth victory in three sets against Pablo Andujar, Coric faced Juan Ignacio Londero. The match started with an early exchange of breaks, and the next came at 5:5 when Borna took the Argentine’s serve and soon took the set with 7:5.
In the second set, Londero was the one who had the initiative, but at the end of the set, Borna returned and reduced the score to 5:4. Instead of directing the set towards a tie-break, he lost the next service game and automatically the set with 6:4.
In the third set, Borna missed too much. He started great and took a 4-1 lead, and instead of routinely doing the job and taking a 2-1 lead in sets, he allowed Londero to come back, and the Argentine took the set in a tie-break.
Coric was much more concentrated in the next two sets. In the fourth, he broke Londero twice and took the set with 6:2, and in the fifth, he broke in the fourth game, which was enough to advance to the next round.
Coric will have a much harder job in the third round when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Croatia’s second female representative Donna Vekic passed the first round of the US Open. The Osijek native and 18th seed defeated Czech Kristyna Plišková (66th on the WTA list) – 3:6, 7:6 (6), 6:4.
Pliškova was close to victory; after winning the first set, in the second, she took the 5:3 lead, and at 5:4, she served for the match. Donna still managed to celebrate in the tie-break of the second set.
In the third set, she managed to find a way to succeed after a break in the ninth game. During the match, she scored six aces (Pliškova 16) with a first-serve percentage of 57 percent and used three of the eight break points. In the second round, she will play against Romanian Patricia Maria Tig, the world’s 88th-best tennis player.
It took three hours and 33 minutes for Marin Cilic (ATP – 38th) to beat American Denis Kudla (ATP – 111th), which he reached after his opponent led 2-0 in sets and had a 5:3 lead in the third set. Cilic celebrated 6:7 (3), 3:6, 7:5, 7:5, 6:3. It was the eighth turnaround of this sort in Cilic’s career, half of which occurred at the US Open, where he is playing for the 12th time.
Marin Cilic will play Slovak tennis player Norbert Gombos (104th on ATP list) in the second round on Thursday.
Ivo Karlovic finished his performance at his 17th US Open. The 41-year-old from Zagreb was stopped in the first round by the Frenchman Richard Gasquet (51st on the ATP list) – 7: 6 (0), 7: 6 (4), 6:1.
Ivo missed his opportunity to do something more in this match in the second set in which he reached his only break in the duel, and later a 5:3 advantage. Still, Gasquet returned in the 10th game, and the story once again went to a tie-break in which the Frenchman took the 2-0 lead.
Ivo gave up in the third set. After the initial 1:1, the Frenchman went to victory with a large series. Ivo achieved 20 aces during the match with a first-serve percentage of 57 percent, and used one of six break points.
Of the three Croatian representatives in doubles who played in the 1st round of the US Open on Wednesday, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic made their way further.
Mektic and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof (8th seed) celebrated at the start against Serbian Nikola Cacic and Indian Divi Sharan (6:4, 3:6, 6:3), while Pavic and Brazilian Bruno Soares (5th seed) topped Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horace Zeballos – 3:6, 6:4, 6:4.
Franko Skugor and American Austin Krajicek lost to 3rd seed, American Rajeev Rama and Briton Joe Salisbury (6:2, 6:7 (5), 6:3).