In her first US Open game since 2019, top-ranked singles player Ashleigh Barty defeated Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 7-6 (7) in the first round. Barty, the versatile Australian star, is in the midst of her best season, and she has often been powerful and precise upon her return to Arthur Ashe Stadium.
She swept through the early stages of the game, dictating the play with her topspin forehand and hitting or slashing aces. But the end of the game was complicated as Barty served for the game at 5-4 and double faulted on the breaking point. She and Zvonareva entered a tiebreaker, and Barty had to save a set point at 6-7 with another good serve that set up a forehand winner.
She closed out the win, finishing with 11 aces and 31 winners and taking all six points she played at the net. Barty missed the US Open last year when it was held without spectators, staying in Australia where travel within and outside the country was difficult due to coronavirus restrictions.
This year, she won five singles titles, including Wimbledon and the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati earlier this month.
“I was disappointed that I couldn’t come and play last year, but playing this year with fans is better,” Barty said in his on-field interview. “It’s so much fun to be back in New York. The city is buzzing, as it should be, and it’s really nice to be able to share that with everyone today.
In the second round, scheduled for Thursday, Barty will face Clara Tauson, an 18-year-old Danish who is ranked 78th but who has the power and the potential to climb much higher.
Emma Raducanu’s first career main draw victory at the US Open wasn’t too complicated – it only took an hour and 18 minutes, after all – but finishing it was.
Raducanu, 18, needed seven match points to wrap up her 6-2, 6-3 first-round victory over Stefanie Voegele on court 17 on Tuesday afternoon, and smiled with visible relief when the last hit Voegele’s right hit the net.
Raducanu was originally drawn to face 13th seed Jennifer Brady in the first round. Brady, who reached last year’s US Open semi-finals and this year’s Australian Open final, withdrew from the tournament on Monday citing a knee injury.
Raducanu, ranked 150th on the tour, reached the main draw of the US Open with three consecutive wins in the qualifying rounds last week.
On his Grand Slam debut last month at Wimbledon, Raducanu reached the fourth round as a wild-card entry, captivating his home country of Great Britain. But halfway through her fourth round match against Ajla Tomljanovic, Raducanu began to struggle with her breathing and was helped by medical staff off the pitch. She did not come back to complete the match.
“I think it was a combination of everything that happened behind the scenes last week, the buildup of excitement, the buzz,” Raducanu said in an interview the next day with the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Raducanu returned to the tour last month and performed well away from the spotlight. After a first-round loss at a WTA tournament in San Jose, Calif., Raducanu reached the quarterfinals of a smaller ITF tournament in Landisville, Pa., And the final of a lower-level WTA event. Chicago. In the Chicago tournament final, Raducanu lost to another 18-year-old Clara Tauson, who, along with 17-year-old Coco Gauff, is one of only two WTA Top 150 players younger than her.
Tennis’s top player Novak Djokovic will begin his quest to expand his dominance – and conquer demons in the process – at the US Open on Tuesday.
Djokovic, who is three-quarters of the way to becoming the first man to win the Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969, will start against Danish qualifier Holger Rune.
Rune, 18, is playing his first Grand Slam main draw game after a promising junior career. He has recently enjoyed success at the Challenger level, but there is little reason to believe that he is ready to disrupt Djokovic.
Djokovic of course has reason to confide beyond an inexperienced opponent: he has won his last 21 matches at Grand Slam events en route to winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. . Djokovic is most comfortable on hard surfaces and has reached at least the fourth round in New York City every year since 2007.
But there is, potentially, reason to doubt. After winning his 20th career Grand Slam title, tying the men’s record, at Wimbledon, he hit some unexpected potholes at the Tokyo Olympics.
He led comfortably against Alexander Zverev in the semifinals, by a set and a break, but then collapsed and ultimately lost the third set, 6-1. In the bronze medal match, he lost to Pablo Carreño Busta, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
Djokovic will play at Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time since he was excluded from the tournament last year in the fourth round for inadvertently hitting a linesman in the neck with a ball.
How to watch: Noon to 6 p.m. EST on ESPN; 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on ESPN2; and streaming on the ESPN app. In Canada on TSN from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and streaming on TSN.ca and the TSN app.
Matches to watch.
Due to the number of matches passing through the courts, individual match times are estimates and may fluctuate depending on when the previous game is over. All hours are oriental.
Court 10 | 11:00
Maria Sakkari vs. Marta Kostyuk
17th seed Maria Sakkari reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in June, but has since struggled on grass and hard surfaces. Sakkari reached the round of 16 at last year’s US Open but faces a tough draw from the start here.
Marta Kostyuk, 19, boldly declared herself at Roland Garros by reaching the round of 16 and propelling herself to 55th in the world. She is quite capable of upsetting opponents who have more experience and will be a serious test for Sakkari on the faster surface of Flushing Meadows.
ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM | 3:00 p.m.
Ashleigh Barty vs. Vera Zvonareva
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty retired from Roland Garros in the second round and was forced to skip the preseason turf tournaments earlier this summer. Since then, she has won 12 straight games, including her second major title at Wimbledon.
Vera Zvonareva, former world No. 2, has not passed the second round of a major tournament since 2014, after a shoulder operation in 2013 which required several periods of absence from the circuit. Zvonareva’s experience is likely to be overshadowed by Barty’s current dominance.
ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM | 7:00 p.m.
Novak Djokovic vs. Holger Rune
Novak Djokovic enters the US Open to complete a Grand Slam. After two losses at the Olympics that left Djokovic without a medal, he will be looking to bounce back and win a career-high 21st Grand Slam title. Djokovic will first face Holger Rune, an 18-year-old Dane who is a major qualifier for the first time ranked No.145. Although Rune won the Junior French Open title in 2019, he is very unlikely to present much. opposition.
STADIUM Louis Armstrong | 9:00 p.m.
Taylor Fritz vs. Alex de Minuar
14th seed Alex de Minuar will face Taylor Fritz, an American struggling with his form. Fritz has lost his last four matches on hard courts, usually his best surface. De Minuar lost in the first round at Wimbledon in June and has won only one match since then. As the two look to move up the world rankings, the match will likely depend more on mental toughness than the physical aspects that have fueled their careers.
Sleeper match of the day.
Court 4 | 6:00 p.m.
Jenson Brooksby vs. Mikael Ymer
Jenson Brooksby and Mikael Ymer are two exciting young talents on the ATP Tour. Ymer, a 22-year-old Swede, has reached the third round of two majors this year, upsetting players like Gaël Monfils and Hubert Hurckaz along the way. Brooksby, a 20-year-old American, recently made his way into the world’s top 100 after a race to the Citi Open semi-finals, beating Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Both can be aggressive at the baseline, which makes tennis exciting.
Ashleigh Barty begins her US Open run on Tuesday against 2010 Open finalist Vera Zvonareva.
Barty, the best woman in tennis, has fewer ghosts to contend with than Novak Djokovic, but also has less experience playing her best in New York. Barty has never reached the quarterfinals at the US Open in her five appearances, although she has only played the event once since winning her first major at the French Open 2019.
But although she also suffered an Olympic disappointment, losing in the first round, Barty rebounded with a dominant run to the Western & Southern Open title near Cincinnati this month, without losing a set along the way.
Due to Australian travel restrictions, she has not returned home for months, but said her nomadic year, the one in which she won her first Wimbledon title, has become one of her best. .
“It has become such a great story for me this year; it’s become such a great year on the tennis court, ”Barty said last week. “All of these distractions, experiences, everything that goes with them made it even better.”