Looking at Julia’s draw, I see the advantages to be a seeded player. Nevertheless, assumption is, that Julia performs like a seed and therefore she had to be in good shape. As Julia didn’t tweet after her loss against Baltacha for a long time and her first sign of life sounds very dry to me
, I am a little bit concerned about her well being. For sure, it was a disappointing upset, especially as Julia decided to earn some more money and points (= playing in the heat of Texas, in the shade of DTW airport a 220K tournament) instead of preparing for the US Open at Flushing Meadows practice courts (like Masha does); but other than the consensus might be on this BB, a loss against Elena Balatacha didn’t come out of the blue and is neither “shameful” (look at her three wins over Top 10 players in 2010 & her performance in Wimbledon 2011 against Shuai Peng).
Saying that, IMO it’s much more on Julia’s performance than those of her opponents if she will advance to R3 at US Open the first time in her career:
IMO Kristina Barrois’ (# 89) can be very proud of herself to play her fourth straight Top 100 season (2011 200 points as RU at 220K Estoril with wins against Elena Vesnina & Aliysa Kleybanova on route gave her the boost). She began her US Hard-Court season two weeks ago in P5 Cincinnati (Quali). Although her travelling there starts with a nightmare
, she has one respectable straight-sets-win against Irina Falconi (# 79) under her belt. Next the Fed-Cup player lost against Kimiko Date-Krumm (# 54) and this week in New Haven Q1 against Carla Suarez Navarro (# 81). Julia won both previous matches in straight sets
, last one in Copenhagen 2010.
The draw sweetens the US Open either for the 20 years young Misaki Doi (# 106) or 26 years young clay courter Laura Pous Tio (# 75), who lost their only match up last year
. Misaki’s only notable, but nevertheless respectable result in 2011 is a R2 at Wimbledon (as Qualiflyer), which secured her a spot in this MD. Laura started her US Hard Court season campaign in 621K Quali in New Haven with a loss against Silvia Soler-Espinosa (# 142; 57 in decider). The compatriot advanced after a straight-sets-win against Sally Peers to Q2 at Flushing Meadows.
A possible match up in R3 against Shuai Peng (# 14) looks a favorable draw to (taking into consideration of the other seven possibilities). Other than Julia ShuShu’s bag is filled with great results at US Open series, but she had to drop out in P5 Toronto (against compatriot Na Li) and in P5 Cincinnati (against Jelena Jankovic) due to left hip injury (she also withdraw from 220K Dallas, which was a very smart decision, IMO).
I hope Julia will be able to fill up her tank & will build up confidence and then her US Tour will come to an appealing end.
All the best!