No place to hide for top seeds as Krunic adds to upsets

Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:33pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic added her name to a list of anonymous figures to emerge from the Flushing Meadows shadows and step into the U.S. Open spotlight with a shock 6-4 6-4 win over Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Saturday.

With five of the top eight women's seeds shown the exit there has been no safe place to hide for the tournament favourites.

The surprises have come from everywhere; a 15-year-old American tennis sweetheart, a 32-year-old Croatian veteran looking to recapture her glory days and Krunic, a young Serbian who pays as much attention to her studies as her game.

American Catherine Bellis became the belle of the U.S. grand slam ball when the 15-year-old toppled Slovakian 12th seed and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova in the opening round.

Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni nudged the teenager out of the spotlight on Friday with a stunning third round win over second seed Simona Halep while 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic joined in on the upset fun ousting sixth-seeded German Angelique Kerber.

One of the big criticism of the women's game has been that it is too predictable but one look at the rankings confirms that is not the case at the year's final grand slam with Bellis at 1,208, Krunic 145 and Lucic-Baroni 121.

Krunic, who aims to graduate from university in Serbia this year with a degree in economics, calculated her chances were best by concentrating on her own game and not worry about who was standing on the other side of the net and followed the plan with precision.

Certainly the 21-year-old Serb has earned straight As for her work at the U.S. Open, which has included a second round win over American 27th seed Madison Keys.   Continued...

Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia hits a return to Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during their match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz