Another pretender to the No. 1 crown fell on Tuesday in a rain-shortened day when No. 6 seed Angie Kerber, last year’s winner and No. 1 year-end player, was routed in her opening match at the US Open by Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-1.
“Moving forward, I feel like I know that I can play with the top players now, so I don’t have to be as nervous as I was today,” Osaka said.
For Kerber it was the continuation of a down season under the weight of achieving the top ranking last year.
“She’s a very aggressive player, but I know this before,” said Kerber, who will now drop out of the Top 10. “She served very well and was going for it. Yeah, she played a very good match from the beginning.”
Current world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova also got her first-round match in, defeating Poland’s Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1.
“Was expecting a little bit tougher than it was, but was a little bit nervous this morning before the match,” Pliskova said. “I think serve could be better, but overall, I think it was solid.”
Other seeded winners on the day were No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko needing three sets to get by Lara Arruabarrena Vecino, No. 15 Madison Keys and No. 23 Barbora Strycova.
Also on the upset tip was Belgian Yanina Wickmayer who rolled No. 28 seed Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-1.
Matches to look for Wednesday on the rain-backed-up schedule include (WC) Maria Sharapova vs. Timea Babos, (9) Venus Williams vs. Oceane Dodin, (20) CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Alison Riske in an all-American, (5) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Ekaterina Makarova in an upset alert, (11) Dominika Cibulkova vs. Sloane Stephens, and (13) Petra Kvitova vs. Alize Cornet.
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