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Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, returns a shot to Danielle Collins, of the United States, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, returns a shot to Danielle Collins, of the United States, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)|Associated Press
Tennis

U.S. Open women's 3rd round: Abrams picks Andreescu vs Wozniacki, Ostapenko vs Ahn, Bertens vs Gorges, Vekic vs Putintseva

First match is at noon EDT

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

2019 U.S. Open

Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY

Women’s Third Round picks

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Taylor Townsend over Sorana Cirstea

(This match had already started before we were able to post)

I’ve been watching American Taylor Townsend for a number of years now, and she’s always had a ton of potential, but she had a combination of some pretty lousy draws and some weight to lose, which kept her out of the public consciousness. Now, with her win over Simona Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion, Townsend has shown that her athletic ability could possibly supersede her size. She can hit every shot, she’s got power, and I love the fact that she gets to net, which makes the women’s game that much more exciting. She’s not done here. Look for her to move on and become a NYC fan favorite if for nothing else, her cheery personality and rosy outlook.

Bianca Andreescu over Caroline Wozniacki

I think Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu is going to win this tournament. I said it in my preview last weekend, and I’ll repeat it here. She’s got the game, for sure, and she’s got the resolve. Now, Americans will discover her. She’s a delight, and she’s another young, great new face that can only be good for women’s tennis. The Dashing Dane, Caroline Wozniacki, is yesterday’s news. Goodbye Caroline. Hello, Bianca.

Jelena Ostapenko over Kristie Ahn

Kristie Ahn, the Stanford grad who has made it back to the Open after a long hiatus after making an appearance in 2009, is a delight. Now 27 years old, Ahn could be considered old by WTA standards, but with the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova still hanging around, there’s plenty of room for the thoughtful, darling Flushing Meadows native. I’d love to see her take out Jelena Ostapenko, a former French Open champion, if for no other reason that it’s always nice to see Americans, especially those who usually toil in relative obscurity, burst out . . . but I think the 22-year-old Latvian has too much variety in her game at this point. Ostapenko is big, like most of the top women (5’10”), strong, and a really good athlete. However she is known to be inconsistent in matches, and sometime for long patches. If a flurry of wildness creeps into her game, and Ostapenko starts missing and loses her confidence, Ahn could make her pay big time for it.

Kiki Bertens over Julia Gorges

Kiki Bertens has been all over the map this year, mostly as the most improved player in the WTA. She had a run from the beginning of the Spring to the middle of the Summer where she was the hottest player on Tour, but has cooled down recently. She’ll be severely tested by German Julia Gorges, who is a solid WTA professional. I like Bertens to elevate her game once again, just in time to move into the Round of 16.

Donna Vekic over Yulia Putintseva

Donna Vekic, a 23-year-old Croatian who stands 5’10”, is very noticeable on the tennis court. Known for her beauty as well as her tennis game, she is a much better player than given credit for, and has already won over $3.5 million on Tour. Her run to the third round here, after her win over Kai Kanepi, matches her best U.S. Open result (2017), but I think she’ll charter new territory in this match with Yulia Putintseva, Putintseva, a Kazakh by birth and culture, has been to the quarters of the French Open twice, but has not fared as well on faster surfaces. I think Vekic will overpower Putintseva, the Moscow native who now lives in Boca Raton.

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