Ups And Downs
Flushing Meadows, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - French Open runner-up Simona Halep was an easy winner, while fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska was sent packing Wednesday in the second round at the U.S. Open.
The Romanian star Halep whipped Slovak Jana Cepelova 6-2, 6-1 in 56 minutes on a very hot Day 3 in New York. The former Wimbledon runner-up Radwanska, however, was upended by China's Peng Shuai 6-3, 6-4 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
A pair of former U.S. Open champions also prevailed during Wednesday's action. Fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova overcame a slow start to hand Alexandra Dulgheru a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 defeat and two-time titlist Venus Williams cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 decision over Timea Bacsinszky.
Halep has reached at least the quarterfinals at this year's first three Grand Slam events, including a trip into the final at Roland Garros and a semifinal appearance last month at Wimbledon.
The 2014 Australian Open semifinalist Radwanska has never reached a quarterfinal in New York, where she exited in the fourth round the previous two years. The Polish star been a second-round U.S. Open loser now on five occasions.
After missing on her first two match points, Peng said she thought about squandering match points in a fourth-round encounter with Radwanska at the 2011 Australian Open.
"I told myself to fight, and don't think about that match," Peng said. "This is an amazing time for me."
Radwanska was fresh off her hardcourt title in Montreal.
Sharapova, one of four former world No. 1s to take the court on Wednesday, is the reigning French Open champion who captured the U.S. Open title in 2006.
The 34-year-old and 19th-seeded Williams won at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001 and is a four-time U.S. Open finalist. She improved to 64-12 lifetime at the year's final Grand Slam event.
No. 10 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who reached the title match here in 2009, easily moved on to the third round via a 6-3, 6-4 decision over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Sixth-seeded German Angelique Kerber, a semifinalist in Flushing in 2011, moved on by handling Russian Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2, 6-4, while ninth-seeded former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic topped Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 7-5, 6-4. The Serbian Jankovic was a U.S. Open runner-up in 2008.
No. 13 seed Sara Errani advanced with a tough 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) win over Anastasia Rodionova, 14th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova held off Chinese Zheng Saisai 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 and 18th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic snuck past promising Puerto Rican Monica Puig 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
Meanwhile, Swede Johanna Larsson upset 21st-seeded American Sloane Stephens 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. The 21-year-old Stephens, who was up a set and 3-0 on Day 3, is now 1-3 in her last four Grand Slam matches.
In other action involving seeds, No. 22 Frenchwoman Alize Cornet handled Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-3, No. 26 Sabine Lisicki rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over American Madison Brengle, No. 28 Roberta Vinci overcame Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 and Swiss Belinda Bencic tackled No. 31 Japanese Kurumi Nara 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.