Open: Shelby Rogers prevails in battle of compatriots and locks in second week spot
American Shelby Rogers is safely through to the second week of the US Open on home soil for the first time in her career. Photo: Andrew Ong

The resurgent Shelby Rogers is into the second week of the US Open, backing up her upset win over 11th seed Elena Rybakina in the prior round as she recovered from an early break down in the opening set to take down compatriot Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-4.

This not only marks the first time Rogers is through to the second week of her home Slam, but its also her best Grand Slam showing to date since her surprise run to the last eight at the French Open four years ago.

Brengle surges ahead early, Rogers overcomes deficit to take first set

​ Brengle looked poised to putting up a stiff challenge in the first set after carving out a break lead. Photo: Andrew Ong ​
​ Brengle looked poised to putting up a stiff challenge in the first set after carving out a break lead. Photo: Andrew Ong ​

Brengle opened the match with an easy service hold and soon had her sights on three break chances in the next game which the older American was able to convert, on her second attempt, after an unforced error came swinging from her opponent’s racket. This lead was short-lived though as Rogers came roaring right back, breaking her older compatriot to love next. Rogers raced away with the next two games and to now lead by a break at 3-2.

A long game on the Rogers serve ensued as the younger American faced two break points but was able to fend them off en route to another hold of serve. There was no stopping Rogers after this as dropped just four more points, breaking her opponent’s serve once more, before holding serve next to fly away with the opening set 6-2 in exactly 30 minutes.

Rogers scores decisive break of serve en route to victory

The second set was a closer affair. After trading love holds in the first two games, it was Rogers who made the first move with the break of serve only for Brengle to reciprocate with the same result in the next game. Both players then traded service holds and it was Rogers’ turn to make her next charge as she broke her opponent’s serve to fifteen before carving out a hold of serve to love to consolidate her lead and send her ahead 5-3.

Brengle looked almost done and dusted in the next game as Rogers moved ahead with three match points. The older American, however, denied her opponent the win as she braved away to an eventual service hold, forcing a couple more errors from her opponent in the process. Rogers faced no issues serving out to match, producing two winners to set up another two match points, converting the first of those to take the match 6-2, 6-4 after 69 minutes of play.

Brengle (left) and Rogers (right) tap racquets after the conclusion of their match. Photo: Andrew Ong​
Brengle (left) and Rogers (right) tap racquets after the conclusion of their match which saw Rogers advance. Photo: Andrew Ong​

Rogers was clearly the more aggressive of the two as she served up five aces and also produced a positive winner-unforced error ratio of +4 (26 to 22). Brengle, on the other hand, managed just seven winners in the entire match and, despite faring better in the first serve department, 77% first serves to her opponents 67%, managed to win just 46% of points behind them in contrast to her opponent’s 69%.

Up next

It will be a 2016 French Open third-round rematch for Rogers next as she is slated to take on sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova, whom she upset in the aforementioned encounter en route to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance.

With a top-70 return in the rankings confirmed, the American will be looking to relish her prowess over the Czech star and realize the upset bid to move into the quarterfinals where one of 2018 champion Naomi Osaka or Estonian Anett Kontaveit awaits.