Russia’s Ludmila Samsonova continued her strong summer form by sending 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez packing from this year’s tournament, seeing off the Canadian 14th seed in straight sets in their meeting on Wednesday.
Samsonova, 23, headed to New York on the back of WTA title successes at the Citi Open and Cleveland, and thus far has continued that streak at Flushing Meadows.
The Russian was impressive again against last year’s beaten New York finalist Fernandez, winning 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) against the 19-year-old in one hour and 45 minutes at the Grandstand stadium.
The result took the winning streak for world number 35 Samsonova to 12 matches – the last seven of which have all come in straight sets.
I would be terrified of Luidmila Samsonova this fortnight if I wasn’t already a massive fan of her’s. Footwork to set herself for every huge strike is flawless atm, 2nd-serve kicks like a mule, options on the 1st-serve…Gave Leylah zero break points last night. Be scared NY! pic.twitter.com/jQsPHlKYGN
— Jack Edward (@ontheline_jack) September 1, 2022
“It was the first time I played on such a big court here in the US Open, it was unbelievable,” Samsonova said of her latest win.
“Against Leylah, it was so tough today. I think my serve was amazing, so it was the key for me today.”
The Olenegorsk-born star next meets world number 96 Aleksandra Krunic in the third round, after the Serb pulled off her own upset win against Czech 23rd seed Barbora Krejcikova.
Beyond that, a potential fourth-round clash could lie in store with Serena Williams.
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Elsewhere in the women’s singles draw in New York, Samsonova’s compatriot Ekaterina Alexandrova – seeded 28th – concluded her rain-affected first-round match against America’s Peyton Stearns, winning 6-4 4-6 7-5 to set up a second-round clash with another US rival, Lauren Davis.
There was also joy on Wednesday for Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, 25, as she moved into the third round with victory over Ukrainian-born Belgian opponent Maryna Zanevska.
Seeded 18th, Kudermetova is the highest-ranked Russian woman left in the draw after the early exit of national number one Daria Kasatkina.
Kudermetova will play Hungarian outsider Dalma Galfi in New York on Friday after Galfi saw off Kasatkina’s British conqueror Harriet Dart in their second-round match.
While there were wins for Kudermetova and Samsonova, compatriots Anna Kalinskaya and Evgeniya Rodina will not be joining them in the third round after they were beaten by Caroline Garcia of France and Croatia’s Ajla Tomljanovic respectively.
In the men’s draw, world number one and defending champion Daniil Medvedev eased into the third round with a straight-sets win over Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.
Medvedev marches on in New York
Medvedev, 26, next plays China’s Wu Yibing – the 22-year-old rising star who becomes the first man from his country ever to reach the third round of the US Open.
Russian 27th seed Karen Khachanov is also safely into round three after overcoming Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro in four sets in the match, and next plays unseeded British talent Jack Draper.
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