You may have heard – and we keep saying it here – the woman’s draw is wide open. So much so, that anyone can win the whole thing.
So why not the No. 20 seed CoCo Vandeweghe, who beat her good buddy Alison Riske 2-6 6-3 6-4 in her first round match?
“I would say my play was average overall,” Vandeweghe said. “Over three sets, I would say first set, not so good on my end. I think Allie came out not missing much at all. I came out very much the other side of that coin. I was missing a lot.
“A little bit of nerves. First-round match. Coming out here to a Grand Slam, probably always the toughest match for me to kind of be settled and to move and play and dictate the way I would like to.”
Vandeweghe is looking for another Slam run, like she did in Wimbledon twice and at the OZ Open this past year when she made the Semifinal and lost to Venus Williams.
But she hasn’t experienced it at the US Open, where second round knockouts are the norm for her in singles matchups.
Sure she did well in doubles, but maybe this can be the year in singles.
“I think it’s both a little bit of pressure added on yourself, wanting to do well here, but also motivation of wanting to do well for your friends and family that come out here, and also the U.S. fans, trying to push you through to the finish line,” she said.
“I think the combination of both really makes this special for me being here. I kind of — I didn’t kind of, I did play my first-ever Grand Slam here. I had great success as a junior here. I won the junior US Open. I have had good matches here at the US Open, but I’ve had some not-so-good ones, being thrown to the wolves a little bit with the draw gods.”
Speaking of draws, Vandeweghe, who is known to be outspoken, had this thought about a certain famous wildcard in Maria Sharapova.
“It’s a Grand Slam. They’re going to sell tickets. People are going to show up to a Grand Slam,” she said. “I don’t think one name makes one difference over ticket sales at a Grand Slam. So I think that’s a little bit nonsense to say that one name’s going to sell hundreds of thousands of more tickets.
“For a Grand Slam to sell less tickets because, you know, one name isn’t in the draw, then I think that’s poor form on the Grand Slam. They need to promote themselves better. The USTA does a good job of promoting themselves through the year.”
Let’s hope she goes far for more comments like that.