The final Grand Slam of the year started with some shocking results at the Flushing Meadows. The top ranked players are expected to progress to the second round easily but upsets can not be ruled out especially in a tennis major.
It was a bad day in the office for world number 2 Simona Halep and world number 7 Johanna Konta. Both players failed to make it to the next round of the US Open.
For Simona Halep, it’s been a terrible year for the Romanian. Halep was beaten in the French Open final in June and lost in the Wimbledon quarter-finals to Johanna Konta.
The world number 2 was dumped out of the US Open by Grand Slam returnee, Maria Sharapova. This was the Russian’s first Grand Slam match since serving a 15 month doping suspension and needed a wild card to enter into the main draw . The 2006 champion beat Halep 6-4 4-6 6-3 to reach the round of 32 of the US Open.
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Maria Sharapove becomes 3rd wildcard to oust top two seed in women’s singles of a Grand Slam (Kim Clijsters, US 09, Zheng Jie WIM 08)
Konta was knocked out 4-6 6-3 6-4 by Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic. Th 78th-ranked Krunic got back into the game stronger after she lost the first set.
Winners of day 1
Petra Kvitova, who returned to competition in May 5 months after being stabbed in her hand by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic in December, dug deep to reach round 2 after beating former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic 7-5 7-5.
2017 Wimbledon Champion, Garbine Muguruza beat Varvara Lepchenko 6-0 6-3 to reach round 2 of the US Open.
2 time US Open champion Venus Williams survived a scare to beat Slovakian qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3 3-6 6-2.
In the men’s tournament, the top ranked players were not in action on day 1 with exception of the 2014 US Open champion, Marin Cilic who made it to the next round 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-3. The Croat beat Tennys Sandgren in four sets. There were also wins for Jo Wilfred Tsonga, Sam Querry, Mikhail Kukushkin and the only British left at the Flushing Meadows, Kyle Edmund.
Tournament favourites Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal will start their US Open campaigns on Tuesday. Both have never met in the US Open and might likely meet if the pair gets to the semi finals.