The US Open 2023 is underway with all the first round's matches from top half of main draw got completed on Monday. 12 out of 16 seeds moved through during the opening day, which brought a few surprising results and exciting three-sets battles.
Maria Sakkari is the highest seed to be eliminated on Monday. The world's number 8 continues her woeful series of first round exits in Grand Slams, as she lost the opening match in third big tournament in a row, after Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Rebeka Masarova was the opponent, who performed an upset on the Greek. The world's number 71th was rated with an odd 3.94 before the match. Sakkari started this match as expected, moving up into 4-1 lead with a single break advantage. Despite this, Masarova was showing a solid display of tennis and surprisingly turned the opening set out by winning 5 games in a row. The Spaniard capitalized on her good form this day, being clinincal in second set. Masarova created the only one breakpoint happened throughout whole set and converted it in 7th game, which occured to be decisive for fates of whole match. The Spaniard scored 22 winners in compare to 21 unforced errors, showing a really impressive stuff against her favorized opponent.
Sakkari seemed to be really dragged down by the outcome of this afternoon, which was a continue of not a fortunate period, which started for her since losing the final of WTA 500 event in Washington. The Greek broke down in tears during the press conference, saying that she not handles the current circumstances well, and maybe needs to take a break from competing for a while.
Pera upsets Kudermetova
Bernarda Pera is the one who performed the biggest upset on women's side, related to odds. The American was rated by 4.15 before the match against 16th seed Veronika Kudermetova. The Russian was playing inconsistently at this day, as she was up a break in both sets played, but slipped it away for the favour of current world's number 73th, who moved past second round with a score 7-5 6-4. Anhelina Kalinina and Elisabetta Cocciaretto are two other seeds, who ended up their US Open campaign on first round, both losing in straight sets. The Ukrainian lost to Sara Sorribes Tormo, which was not an upset due to the fact, that the Spaniard has won the WTA 250 hard court event on Cleveland just two days ago. Cocciaretto got eliminated by Kaja Juvan, who climbed into main draw from qualifiers.
Favorites make their job done
Apart from the upsets described above, the first day of main draw action in Flushing Meadows did not bring too much worries for the majority of top contenders. Iga Swiatek has expectedly defeated Rebecca Peterson with a crushing score 6-0 6-1. Elena Rybakina had set up the clash against Marta Kostyuk, who was indicated as one of the most dangerous unseeded floaters and somewhat uncomfortable pick just from the start for the world's number 4. The Kazakh showed a really great performance though, resembling the form, which helped her to celebrate successes during the start of the season on hard courts. Just 3 games given away and 26 winners scored during the match against Ukrainian is quite a statement win for Rybakina, who moved through with a score 6-2 6-1.
Alja Tomljanovic will be Rybakina's opponent in second round. The Australian came back on court after major knee injury and scored a great win in her first match played after multiple months of break. The Australian bounced back after losing the opening set to Panna Udvardy and won the match against the Hungarian by 3-6 6-2 6-4.
Karolina Muchova, Petra Kvitova, Belinda Bencic and Victoria Azarenka are also the favorites, who overcame the first hurdles in really comfortable way. Muchova scored her first victory as the world's top 10 player, defeating Storm Hunter by 6-4 6-0. Kvitova eliminated Cristina Bucsa by 6-1 7-6(5). Bencic won her match against Kamilla Rakhimova with a score 6-2 6-4, while Azarenka gave no chance to Fiona Ferro, winning by 6-1 6-2.
Gauff endures Siegemund, rocket start from Collins
As many as 11 of the Americans were playing in women's singles matches on Monday. 6 of them managed to advance into second round, with Cori Gauff and Danielle Collins headlining this group after their Monday's performance. Gauff has played against Laura Siegemund during the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The winner of recent WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati was a banker favorite ahead of this match, but the German played a flawless opening set and shockingly moved up into the lead, winning it by 6-3. As the match progressed, Gauff started to catch up the rhythm and overplayed her lower ranked opponent in second set, winning it by 6-2. The world's number 6 was leading with a double break in third set as well, but struggled a little bit to close the match, winning it finally with a score 3-6 6-2 6-4 after surprisingly long battle, which took 2:52 hours.
Such a close tassle was not just related to somewhat weaker performance of Gauff, but also due to a great performance showed by Siegemund, who scored 37 winners throughout whole the match. The stats were quite close, as the German commited 36 unforced errors, while Gauff scored 34 winners in compare to 34 errors.
Danielle Collins kicked-off her US Open campaign in a crushing style. "Danimal" has needed just 52 minutes to defeat Linda Fruhvirtova with a score 6-2 6-0. It was possibly the best performance showed by any player on this day, as Collins scored 25 winners during this very short match, commiting just 7 unforced errors at the same time. The stat of 100% points won on first serve does also impress a lot.
Collins can be a dark horse of this tournament and a really unpleasant opponent for Gauff in their possible 3rd round's clash. Before this, both need to win their second round's matches, where Collins meets Elise Mertens and Gauff plays against Mirra Andreeva. The youngster has scored her first Grand Slam victory on hard courts, defeating Olivia Gadecki in three sets, 1-6 6-3 6-4.
Mertens saves 3 matchpoints in a rollercoaster
Elise Mertens has played a crazy match against qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund. The 32th seed prevailed in 3:16 hours long battle against the Swede despite facing 3 matchpoints in decisive set. Mertens was serving to stay in this match within the score 4-5 and was 0-40 down in her service game. The Belgian stayed alive while clearing the danger with 5 consecutive points won and clinched the victory in decisive tiebreak, winning by 3-6 6-3 7-6(3).