February 18, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Katherine Sebov had it.

Or so it seemed, as she served for the match against Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer.

And then, in a flash, she didn’t. And it turned out she wouldn’t get another chance in a 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-2 loss in the first round of qualifying at the US Open.

Sebov, 24, led Wickmayer 7-6, 5-4 as she tried to serve out the match.

At 15-0, after a long exchange that Sebov lost, she complained to the chair umpire that at the tail end of it, a water bottle had fallen off Wickmayer’s table and rolled onto the court.

A rolling water bottle as she served for the match was enough to derail Sebov, who couldn’t get her mojo back.

Not far, but apparently enough to distract Sebov.

It was visible evidence of her nerves in trying to pull out a big win, and she just couldn’t let it go.

It was the opening Wickmayer needed.

Belgian having a time out there

Up to that point, Wickmayer, whose current ranking of No. 86 in singles after a semifinal effort at the WTA tournament in Prague came too late to get directly into the main draw, was having some … issues.

There was plenty of this.

And there even was … this, as the 33-year-old decided she needed to show off her shorties after a particularly annoying (to her) error. Probably saw her daughter doing the same thing!

But if Wickmayer’s ranking isn’t all that impressive now, she’s come back from literally zero after taking a maternity break. If she’s not playing the way she did when she won five career titles on the WTA Tour, and got as high as No. 12 in the world back in 2010, she is in good form.

And she knows what to do when her opponent gives her an opening.

Wickmayer broke Sebov in that game, held and broke her again to take the second set as Sebov helped her with a flurry of errors.

After that, the suspense was sort of done, as if seemed all the fight, all the consistency, had been knocked out of the Canadian.

Here’s what it looked like.

Wickmayer gets Harriet Dart of Great Britain in the second round.

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