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New York, USA – One of the favorites of huge numbers of spectators, American Coco Gauff narrowly won her US Open opener on Monday, beating Germany’s Laura Siegmund 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The 19-year-old, seeded sixth in the event, needed 2 hours 51 minutes to beat her rival on the Arthur-Ashe Circuit of Flushing Meadows, watched by former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
Despite her young age, Gauff is already in her fifth appearance in the main draw of the last Grand Slam of the season.
She will be looking to repeat or even surpass her performance in the 2022 edition when she reached the quarterfinals for the first time.
The reigning champion of the Cincinnati tournament, Gauff has five WTA Tour titles to her credit after winning the final against Czech Carolina Muchova.
“She climbs the net a lot and in the first set she won almost all the points she went up (ten out of thirteen, editor’s note). I was very defensive. So I tried to be more aggressive afterwards,” commented the 19-year-old American.
After a good hour and a half, Gough struggled to find answers to Siegmund’s varied play. We have seen him time and again show his frustration towards his coach, the veteran Brad Gilbert.
The American suffered a service break in the final set due to a very long first game. From there, he let his talent do the talking while his 35-year-old rival slowly lost his luster.
Gauff broke serve three times in the deciding set, but she also broke serve twice, the first of which would have given her a 5–2 victory.
Despite clear signs of nervousness on serve, Gauff managed to close the record with her first match point against the former 27th racket in the world, now ranked 121st.
In the second round, Gauff will face another teenager, Russian Mira Andreeva (No. 63 WTA), who is only 16. When she entered the tournament she defeated Australian Olivia Gadecki 1–6, 6–3, 6–4.
“Thank you New York for giving me this ride! ”, he told the crowd of the central court committed to his cause, before returning to the locker room.
Sakkari is already packing
Greek Maria Sakkari, the world number eight seed and the tournament’s eighth seed, lost 6-4, 6-4 to Spaniard Rebecca Masarova (No. 71) in the first round.
After a lively start to the match (4–1), Maria Sakkari lost five games in a row, cheating on her serve, while Rebecca Masarova was more regular, breaking her opponent again in the seventh game of the second set.
It was the third consecutive first-round elimination for the Greek at a Grand Slam, a finalist at Roland-Garros and the US Open in 2021.
In the second round, Rebeka Masarova will face the winner of the match between Slovak Anna Karolina Schmidlova and Ukrainian Kateryna Bandel.
Tremendous success for Swiatek
World No. 1 and defending champion Inga Swiatek breezed past Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 6-0, 6-1 to ease past the first-round hurdle.
After this win against the world’s 86th player, the 22-year-old Polish player will face Australian Daria Saville (322nd) in the second round, who earlier defeated American Clervy Ngounoue (494th) 6-0, 6-. 2.
On the Arthur Ashe Court, Swiatek gave Sweden no chances and earned himself three break points before winning the first set 6-0. Petersen won his first serve in the second set, but again Swiatek gave him no chances (6-1).
“I really wanted to play a solid match,” she said on the court after her win, adding that she was satisfied not to be intimidated “despite the pressure and expectations” around her.
If the next round looks economical for Pole, Swiatek is promised a delicate finish on the road to a new title at Flushing Meadows, which would be her fifth Grand Slam victory.
She could theoretically meet Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals, who she beat in the semifinals of the Cincinnati tournament, then Kazakh Elena Rybakina (fourth), before possibly meeting Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (second) in the final.
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (18th in the world) defeated Fiona Ferro of France (190th) 6-1, 6-2 to easily make it to the second round.
Fiona Ferro, a recent Challenger tournament finalist in Barranquilla (Colombia), lacked efficiency in her engagements, winning only 35% of her rallies on her first serve.
Author of 30 winning strokes in just 15 games, 34-year-old Victoria Azarenka, former world number one and US Open finalist in 2013 and 2020, will take on the winner of the match between China’s Lin Zhu (44th) in the second round. Mayor Sheriff (33rd).
Czech Karolina Muchova (10th in the world) became the first player to qualify for the second round on Monday after beating Australian Storm Hunter (158th) 6-4, 6-0.
The recent finalist of the Roland-Garros tournament took only an hour and five minutes to defeat Storm Hunter, who is known for her qualities as a doubles player (world No. 3).
In the second round, Muchova will face the winner of the match between Polish Magdalena Frech (77th in the world) and American Emma Navarro (57th in the world).
Rybakina quietly passes first round
World number four Kazakh Elena Rybakina easily qualified for the second round after beating Marta Kostyuk (39th) of Ukraine 6-2, 6-1.
In the next round, the 24-year-old, who is still in search of a second Grand Slam title after Wimbledon 2022 and lost the final at the Australian Open earlier this year, will face Australian Ajla Tomljanovic (127th). Quarter-finalist, Hungarian Panna Udvardy (122nd) after Queen Serena Williams retired last year.
Rybakina, who has reached at least the quarterfinals of the other three majors during her career, has never been past the third round at Flushing Meadows, which she reached in 2021. Last year, he was kicked out of the entrance.