Day 2 at the US Open saw the opening round matches conclude. Before moving on to the second round, here are five interesting things you may have missed on the second day.
US Open Day 2 Recap
Caroline Wozniacki Finally Won a Match After Dropping the First Set
Caroline Wozniacki battled through a two plus hours match and broke her streak. The last seven matches in which the Dane dropped the first set resulted in a loss. Much to Wang Yafan’s chagrin, Wozniacki snapped the streak and won her first three setter. In her on-court post-match interview, Wozniacki said she “needed to just get my nose in it” and that’s precisely what she did. It made me tired watching two retrievers who let nothing pass them by. Points were won after excruciatingly long rallies and a lot of hard work. In what is confidence boosting victory, Wozniacki will be rewarded with a second round bid against American Danielle Collins on Thursday.
They’re All Weirdos … Oh, and, Stefanos Tsitsipas is Out of the US Open
Entering the US Open as the #8 seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas opened his campaign against Andrey Rublev. Rublev is the very capable Russian who knocked out Roger Federer in Cincinnati. The two 21-year-olds battled through the second and third sets forcing tiebreaks in each, leaving Rublev up two sets to one.
The Greek’s well-known banter with his box, specifically his father, caught umpire Damien Dumusois’ attention and Tsitsipas received a coaching violation. I’d guess it didn’t help that Patrick Mouratoglu, Tsitsipas’ consultant, was sitting in the box. I doubt anyone has forgotten Serena Williams and the coaching debacle of 2018.
In the fourth set, Tsitsipas began cramping. Long delays ensued and Tsitsipas received a time violating warning. Despite obviously struggling, Tsitsipas hung in, looking to shorten points with big cuts. On the changeover at 4-3, Tsitsipas wanted time to change and Dumusois believed Tsitsipas had exceeded the time limit. That didn’t sit well with Tsitsipas, his rant clearly picked up by the on-court audio: “For some reason, you have something against me, I don’t know what. Because you’re French probably. And you’re all weirdos. You’re all weirdos. Give me warning, I don’t care. Give me warning, give me warning. Yeah, give me warning, I don’t care. Give me warning!” And, Dumusois did precisely that.
Rublev went on to win the fourth set, taking the match 6-4, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5. Up next for the Russian is Gille Simon.
Coco Gauff Puts the Bite on Anastasia Potapova in the Big Apple
Teenage rising stars America’s Coco Gauff and Russia’s Anastasia Potopova battled through three sets before the 15-year-old Gauff closed out the match. As expected, the crowd was squarely behind the American and “Coco” could be heard throughout the stadium. It’s a hard loss for Anastasia Potapova who played an inspired match hallmarked by penetrating groundstrokes and exceptional movement. Yet, Gauff was able to match each step, each shot and throw in a few twists of her own.
Will Denis Shapalov’s F-bomb Cost?
“Audible Obscenity Violation.”
With a commanding lead over compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov’s youthful petulance emerged. Or perhaps profanity is so commonplace among the teen/twenty-something generation. When Auger-Alissime challenged a Shapovalov baseline shot, the elder Canadian was not pleased. FAA played the ball and Shapovalov considered it too late to challenge. The umpire allowed the challenge, clearly showing that the Shapovalov shot was long. When you’re already up two sets and a break, what’s a challenge among friends?
Shapovalov ended close friend and #18 seed Auger Aliassime’s US Open bid 6-1, 6-1, 6-4.
The Battle of Belarus
The intensity was set to high as Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka battled through their first round match. The grunts, shrikes and “c’mon” were probably heard in Brooklyn. It was a high energy, ball thumping brawl between countrywomen born a decade apart. Sabalenka came through in three tight, tough sets. The Sabalenka serve was the highlight of the match. Sure, there were 13 double faults, but it was perhaps the strongest serving performance of late. The blistering forehand winners didn’t hurt, either. The #9 seed is through to the second round.
Finally, Here’s How the Seeded Women Fared
Sloane Stephens continues to waver, now on the biggest stages. Even Kamau Murray was unable to save Stephens from a devastating first round exit. Kudos to qualifier Anna Kalinskaya, who took this match giving the American little chance to claw her way into it.
Garbine Muguruza’s early round exits continue. It’s not that the Spaniard played poorly; it’s that Alison Riske played amazing. The American is moving on to the second round with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over the #24 seed.
Top seed Naomi Osaka, #19 seed Caroline Wozniacki, #4 seed Simona Halep, and #26 seed Julia Gorges were pushed to a decider. The seeded players eventually prevailed but the first round was anything but straightforward.
The 31st seed Barbora Strycova was dismissed by Spain’s Aliona Bolsova Zadionov, and Carla Suarez Navarro withdrew sending Timea Babos on to the second round.
Coming through in straight sets are #25 seed Elise Mertens, #21 seed Anett Kontaveit, #7 seed Kiki Bertens, #6 seed Petra Kvitova, #13 seed Belinda Bencic and #23 seed Donna Vekic. Bianca Andreescu, seeded 15th, is through in straight sets.
Main Photo from Getty.