FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – If the challenge in the first round was to adjust to the heretofore rare experience of playing an opponent younger than she was, the challenge in Round 2 of the US Open will be just the opposite for Canadian Bianca Andreescu.
The 19-year-old will square off for the first time with 33-year-old Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
It could be a fascinating matchup, tactically.
Flipkens’s game possesses many of the changes of pace that Andreescu is quickly becoming known for.
She doesn’t have the same power from the baseline.
But she also has a more effective slice, and an even greater willingness to come to the net.
Conversely, she lost to the ultimate junkballer (we say this with love and awe), Hsieh Su-Wei, in her last two tournaments.
Lucky loser looking for more
This is the 11th US Open main draw for Flipkens, who has gotten past the second round only once – in her second attempt, exactly a decade ago.
Her singles ranking, as high as No. 13 back in 2013 and just in side the top 50 at the start of this season, was down to No. 110. Hence the need to qualify.
She lost in the final round to Johanna Larsson. But as a lucky loser, she had the good fortune to meet another lucky loser, 18-year-old Xiyu Wang of China. She prevailed in three sets.
If the support Andreescu received from a crowd dotted with red and white in first-round match against the American Volynets is any indication, Andreescu will have the “home-field” advantage again.
The winner will meet the winner of the night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium between No. 19 seed Caroline Wozniacki and American Danielle Collins.