Kvitova over Serena, Sabalenka bounces Pliskova

Petra Kvitova played terrific on Tuesday at night in Cincy, beating Serena Williams 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. At Wimbledon, the Los Angeles resident played pretty well, reaching the final — again. Still feeling the effects of motherhood, she was still a little bit slow against Angie Kerber.

Like Kim Clijsters, Serena is finding coming back takes more time than expected. If Serena is patient, then the 36-year-old will play more often and win more frequently.

A few weeks ago, Williams was crushed in California, losing to Jo Konta. Now she goes down against Kvitova but she didn’t play poorly. At the US Open, Serena might be nervous, but she has won it six times, If she reaches the second week, watch out.

Win or lose, Aryna Sabalenka is coming up fast. She is powerful and head strong. On Wednesday, 20-year old Sabalenka eliminated the former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 7-5 in the third. Good for the Belarus, mediocre the Czech, who is sputtering this year.

About the months ago, Pliskova reached the semis in Madrid, beating Vika Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and Simon Halep, before losing to Kvitova. After that, there is not much for Pliskova.

So yesterday, she decided to hire Rennae Stubbs as her coach. A former player and current broadcaster, Stubbs is very smart. But will Pliskova focus? And actually listen, all the time? That is hard to say, because on court, she can be mentally out of it. But when she is locked in, she can beat anyone. It should be fascinating at the US Open.   

NOTES
Azarenka has been given a wild card at the US Open, but in Cincy, she lost to Caroline Garcia  6-4, 7-5. Garcia is substantially better over the past year and a half, but just like Serena, Azarenka has to readjust after becoming a mom.

Here’s a good win: Elina Svitolina beats Svetlana Kuznetsova in a marathon: 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-4. Svitolina may be reviving. 

Miami champion Naomi Osaka is suffering, losing  early again. Time to pick it up …

CoCo Vandeweghe is still hurt, I would imagine, when she was smoked by Kiki Bertens. The next day, the Belgian won easily as the No.  2 Caro Wozniacki has to retire with an injury. Caro is getting hurt a lot, again.

How many injuries? A billion, in the summer.

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