No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki held off a challenge from a former US Open winner as the seeds righted the ship on Tuesday at the US Open.
Following the departure of No. 1 seed Simona Halep on Day 1, Wozniacki on a Tuesday where temperatures reached into the upper 90s stopped unseeded former champion Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-2.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Wozniacki, who lost in the first round at the Canadian Open and at Cincinnati. “I didn’t have the ideal lead-up to the tournament, but body-wise, I’m feeling great right now. It was a good test today, obviously, with the heat and then playing Sam. I’m pleased with how I’m feeling. I’m just hoping that, step by step, I can play better and better as the tournament progresses.”
For the first time in US Open history an Extreme Heat Policy was implemented for men’s matches in addition to the women as temperatures neared 100 degrees at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Fellow Top 10 winners on the day were No. 4 Angie Kerber stopping Russian Margarita Gasparyan 7-6(5), 6-3, No. 5 Petra Kvitova rolling Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-4, No. 6 Caroline Garcia turning back Johanna Konta 6-2, 6-2, and No. 10 Jelena Ostapenko working past veteran Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.
“I think we both played at a really high level,” Kerber said of Gasparyan. “I was really happy to play the first round like this. Focusing on my serve, moving good.”
Garcia will next meet Monica Puig who she is 0-3 career against.
“We played last week in New Haven,” Garcia said. “It was not a very good match for my part. She was coming from quallies and she was playing good. She has confidence, so I have to play my best match like I always need to. Of course, the match against Johanna today is going to give me confidence and I will need to play as good as today for to beat her. It’s going to be a nice match to play, for sure.”
Upsets were relegated to the lower seeds on Tuesday as Belgian Kirsten Flipkens predictably beat an injury-addled No. 24 CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 7-6(3), and Czech riser Katerina Siniakova outlasted No. 28 Anett Kontaveit 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-5.
“I am 32 years old, but I feel like I’m 22 years old,” said Flipkens after ousting Vandewehge, who has battled a right ankle injury since Wimbledon.
Lower-seeded winners Tuesday were No. 11 Daria Kasatkina beating Timea Babos in three, No. 13 Kiki Bertens, No. 14 Madison Keys, No. 20 Naomi Osaka, No. 22 Maria Sharapova, No. 26 Aryna Sabalenka who needed three sets to beat American Danielle Collins after bageling her in the first, No. 29 Dominika Cibulkova who came from a set down to defeat qualifier Arantxa Rus, and No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro who did the same against American qualifier Nicole Gibbs.
Sharapova ended the run of veteran qualifier Patty Schnyder, barely closing out a comeback run by the 39-year-old Swiss in a second set tiebreak after leading 5-1.
“She still has incredible hands, moves incredibly well for being out of the game for so long, still very competitive,” said Sharapova. “I was just saying it took me, like, 15 years to dropshot Patty Schnyder and win a point. Doesn’t happen that often against Patty.”
Sabalenka, the 20-year-old playing in her first US Open main draw, will next meet qualifier and former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva who beat fellow Russian Anna Blinkova in three. Genie Bouchard, another qualifier, beat French wildcard Harmony Tan, lining up Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the second round.
Matches to look for on Wednesday in Flushing Meadows include defending champ (3) Sloane Stephens first on vs. the Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina, (17) Serena Williams vs. German Carina Witthoeft, (16) Venus Williams vs. Camila Giorgi, and (25) Daria Gavrilova vs. former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.
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