Teen superstar Coco Gauff suffered her first career first round exit at a Grand Slam at the hands of former semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 Monday afternoon at the US Open.
The Latvian who has reached the last eight three times in New York led with a break 4-2 in the second before Gauff charged back as Sevastova, who was winless at WTA events in 2020, tightened.
But experience showed in the end as Sevastova broke for the hard-earned win.
“I wish I would play like this when I was 16 years old,” Sevastova said. “Great player. Nothing more to say. I think she maybe started a bit slower than me, but she was getting better as the match went on. That’s so important I think in tennis.
“In the end I think third set she played her best tennis. She was serving better, moving better. It was tough, yeah. Fortunately I stayed calm in the third set and managed to win, to close it out.”
Former finalist Karolina Pliskova tore through her opener at the US Open breezing past Anhelina Kalinina 6-4, 6-0 taking the last eight games of the match.
“I think this match, especially the first set was in couple periods,” Pliskova said. “I think I started not really great with the first game, but after, I was able to somehow, like step in the court, was playing quite aggressive, so I was doing a lot of points.”
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has never had that big result in New York, but she was strong today in a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Irina Camila Begu.
2016 winner Angelique Kerber made her post-hiatus debut with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ajla Tomljanovic.
In the evening, Naomi Osaka faltered in the second but got past a tough Misaki Doi 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. The 2018 US Open champ didn’t show any signs of a left hamstring injury suffered last Friday.
“It was very difficult,” Osaka said in her on-court interview. “I kind of expected it because of the first round nerves, and she’s also a very tough opponent. I knew there was a chance it could get really long. I just have to see what happens tomorrow and how I feel.”
American women had a tough start dropping their first eight matches before Madison Brengle got them on the board. CiCi Bellis, Shelby Rogers, Alison Riske, Jessica Pegula and Lexington champion Jennifer Brady were also winners.
Tuesday, the Williams are back for a fourth decade of tennis at the US Open. Serena plays in the afternoon against Kristie Ahn who made the fourth round last year. Fourty-year-old Venus will clash with the dangerous Karolina Muchova.
Second seed and Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin opens play along with Garbinie Mugurza, Madison Keys and Johanna Konta. And in the last match on Court 17, 37-year-old 3-time US Open winner Kim Clijsters makes her comeback to Grand Slam play.
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