Eighth seeded Petra Martic will face Ukraine’s Varvara Gracheva in the third round of the 2020 US Open. The match will be played on Friday, September 4, scheduled to begin at 11 am local time (4 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Petra Martic v Varvara Gracheva match along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Petra Martic v Varvara Gracheva Head to Head
This will be the second meeting between Martic and Gracheva having played as recently as the Prague Open earlier this month. In that match on clay, Martic had come away a straight-set winner to advance to the second round.
Martic Sends Bondarenko Packing
After a tough opening round initiation, Martic came into her own in the second round with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kateryna Bondarenko. She needed an hour and 22 minutes and was broken just once in her win which saw her smash 29 winners and eight aces.
Things looked quite clear from the very first game of the match when Martic overturned a 40-15 lead on her opponent’s serve, overcame seven deuces to finally break Bondarenko. She doubled her breaks in the sixth game before getting broken for the first and only time in the match.
With the buffer of an additional break with her, Martic completed an easy win in the first set.
Things went on serve till the ninth game of the second set, but in the 10th, Bondarenko fell behind 0-40 to give Martic three match-points. While she saved two of them, Martic completed the win on the third to make it to the third round of US Open for the second season in a row.
She had earlier overcome Tereza Martincova in the first round in three sets.
Gracheva Performs Highway Heist!
How did she do it? That’s a question most fans who saw things unfold in the second round match between Kristina Mladenovic and Varvara Gracheva would still be wondering.
Mladenovic, the 30th seed, had come off a straight set win in her first round match and was leading 6-1, 5-1 in her second round match against Gracheva. It looked to be headed towards a routine win for the Frenchwoman and Gracheva, who had never featured in a Grand Slam main draw before this, seemed to be done with her maiden draw campaign, having improved on her previous performances anyway.
And then the turnaround came.
Serving for the match at 5-1 in the second set, Mladenovic was down a couple of break-points and while she saved one, Gracheva broke off the second to reduce the deficit to 5-2. Surely it was a small blip?
Sure seemed like it when Mladenovic had four match-points on her opponent’s serve, but they were all saved somehow. No problem, just a matter of Mladenovic having to serve it out.
She didn’t. Serve broken. Again. 5-4. Worrying signs but Gracheva had been broken five times already and nearly a sixth in the previous game.
This time, however, she held to 15, more confident about her own self. Two more holds took us to a tie-breaker. And that’s where the Frenchwoman completely lost it.
Gracheva raced away to a 5-0 lead and won the tie-breaker 7-2 before breaking Mladenovic thrice in the final set to win the encounter.
Interestingly, Mladenovic blasted the organisers after the match, saying, “I was playing well but I was feeling on the edge. What they are forcing us to go through is abominable. I want my freedom back. I feel like we are prisoners here.”
Well, that’s a story for another day. Here, it’s about Gracheva enjoying a comeback of a lifetime and try to make it count.
Martic v Gracheva Prediction & Tip
When the dust settles, Gracheva will now need to re-focus her attention for this third round match against a far tougher opponent in the form of Martic. And Martic starts off at 2/7 to win it and 8/11 to do that in straight sets.
Tip: Martic to win in straight sets: 8/11 (bet365)