October 24, 2021

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Rebecca Marino to US Open qualifying final round

Marino

FLUSHING MEADOWS – So far, so good for Rebecca Marino, the only Canadian in the women’s qualifying draw at the US Open.

After dispatching Panna Udvardy of Hungary in the first round on Tuesday, the 30-year-old ran up against the hard-hitting lefty from Belgium, Ysaline Bonaventure.

Bonaventure, ranked No. 129 and whose career high came two years ago, at No. 109, can really thwack the ball.

So the outcome was not entirely in Marino’s hands.

But Bonaventure was pretty cranky – the heat is making cranks out of just about everyone – and was up and down during the match.

Marino breezed through the first set (a combination of her good play and Bonaventure, not so much). But her level dropped a bit in the second set. Meanwhile, Bonaventure picked it up. She was generally annoyed throughout. But she kept it together for a set and a half pretty well.

In the end, after a tight third set, Marino broke the Belgian at love to take the match, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Here’s what it looked like.

Marino wins the serving contest

The Canadian had 14 aces (and they came in bunches) and just four double faults.

Bonaventure, whose second serve is a little dodgy, had 10 double faults.

And while Marino was a semi-decent 4-for-11 on break points (there was one game in which she was up love-40 but couldn’t close the deal, as she was trying to break back in the second set), Bonaventure was 2-for-11.

And there were TWO games in which she had love-40 on Marino’s serve, and couldn’t break.

No wonder the racquet took a beating.

Minnen in the final round

Marino’s only obstacle remaining to reach her first US Open main draw since … 2011 (!!) is No. 6 seed Greet Minnen of Belgium.

Minnen beat Hai Montama of Japan 6-3, 7-6 (3) on Thursday.