World No. 5 Elina Svitolina dominated 19-year-old Dayana Yastremska, 6-2, 6-0, in under an hour in Louis Armstrong Stadium. It was the first professional meeting between the two Ukrainians, who were both born in Odessa.
Svitolina won the first nine points of the match en route to an early 4-0 lead, and later raced through the second set, where she lost just six points. Her No. 32-seeded opponent made her stand late in set one, forcing deuce in two consecutive return games and holding twice herself, but the 24-year-old Svitolina's experience guided her through to seal the set.
"I was very consistent from the baseline and I was serving very well when I had to," she said on-court after the march. "I think my experience played [a role] tonight."
The standout stats from the evening encounter were Svitolina's break-point efficiency–converting on five of six opportunities–and Yastremska's 36 unforced errors, which accounted for more than half of her opponent's points in the contest.
Despite the one-side scoreline, it's a meeing both women will remember for its greater significance.
"It's definitely a very special moment for Ukraine," Svitolina said after the match. "It was a very special match for both of us."
No. 10 seed Madison Keys used her dominant serve and a sharp baseline game to overcome No. 20 Sofia Kenin in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, in a battle of Americans in Arthur Ashe Stadium Thursday night.
Ten aces on a 69-percent first-serve rate—with Keys taking 84 percent of those first-serve points—powered her to the win and kept Kenin guessing all night. Keys also converted on two out of three break points to win in one hour, 20 minutes.
Visited courtside by a doctor on a changeover, Keys said in an on-court interview after the match she wasn’t feeling her best.
“This was definitely a test,” she assessed. Addressing the crowd, she added that Arthur Ashe Stadium is one of her favorite places to play and said the support had “gotten me through some really tough moments.”
Keys rifled forehands and maintained a strong serve to take an early lead in the first set. On her first break point at 1-2, she blasted a forehand and drew a Kenin error into the net, then followed up without losing a point on her serve to consolidate the break.
Serving to stay in the set at 2-5, Kenin quickly fell behind love-30. With two strong serves and strong baseline play, the 20-year-old rattled off three straight points to force Keys to serve out the first frame. Three of Keys' eight aces in the set—the last, to finish off the game, screaming past Kenin at 115 miles per hour—gave Keys the easy hold and the first set.
Kenin sought to flip the script early in the second set, as she forced three break point chances up 2-1. Keys’ serve, though, held steady, and a forehand error from Kenin allowed her to close the game after three deuce points and put the set even at 2-2.
Both players held strong on serve in the second until a scary moment when the players changed ends at 3-4, when Keys had her blood pressure checked by a doctor at courtside. Unphased when play resumed, Keys quickly held, as did Kenin.
At 5-all in the second set, Keys had a key chance with a break point at 30-40. A double fault, one of four on the match for Kenin, handed her the break.
In the next game as she sought to serve out the match, Keys quickly went down 0-30 and then faced two break points down 15-40. On the first, Kenin floated a backhand passing shot just long, On the second a backhand cross court drifted wide.
Keys' serve, as it had all night, got her out of trouble as she rocketed two big serves that set up winning points for the game and the match.
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com