Simona Halep advances to US Open second round | Tennis News



NEW YORK: Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep, battling an injury, qualified for the second round of the US Open on Monday as the hard-court showdown began in front of a crowd at full capacity.
The 29-year-old Romanian 12th seed defeated Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) to book a second-round match against the lucky Slovakian loser Kristina Kucova, who ousted American Ann Li 7-5, 6- 1.
Halep, 2018 Roland Garros champion and 2019 Wimbledon champion, tore a left calf muscle at the Italian Open, missed Roland Garros and Wimbledon, then injured his right thigh in Cincinnati , but got off to a solid start in New York.
Halep shot six aces and won 83% of his first serve points, scoring 14 winners against 16 unforced errors while taking advantage of 31 unforced errors from Giorgi.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka, chasing her third US Open crown in four years, was scheduled for the evening’s game at Arthur Ashe Stadium against 87th Czech Marie Bouzkova.
Osaka won their only previous encounter in the first round of this year’s Australian Open en route to their fourth Grand Slam title.
The 23-year-old Japanese star could become the first consecutive US Open women’s champion since Serena Williams won her third in a row in 2014.
Osaka is starting a 15-game winning streak in the Grand Slam, having skipped the French Open last year and Wimbledon this year and retired after a first round victory at this year’s French Open for mental health problems.
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will also be on the evening’s schedule against Serbian Nina Stojanovic.
Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys meet in a rematch in the first round of the 2017 US Open final won by Stephens.
On the men’s side, as first Novak Djokovic waits until Tuesday to begin his quest for a US Open crown to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam, his top-ranked rivals are taking the field.
Greece’s third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will face three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray of Britain at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Murray, ranked 112th, won the 2012 US Open and the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon crowns. He would be the lowest ranked player to beat an enemy in the top three at the US Open since ranking began in 1973. .
Two-time Olympic champion Murray is 14-0 in previous US Open first round matches and the 34-year-old Scotsman is aiming for his biggest win since defeating world number two Novak Djokovic in the 2016 ATP Finals.
Roland-Garros finalist Tsitsipas has been Murray’s highest-ranked enemy since losing to third-ranked Stan Wawrinka in the 2017 Roland-Garros semi-final.
Russia’s second-seeded Daniil Medvedev opens in the final of the night Ashe against Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
US Open 2019 and Australian Open 2021 finalist Medvedev is aiming for his 200th career match win and 160th on hard.
Gasquet is 1-35 to his top two rivals, having lost 35 in a row since defeating then number one Federer in 2005 in Monte Carlo.
221st-ranked Croatian Ivo Karlovic at 42, the oldest open-era US Open qualifier (since 1968), would become the oldest player to defeat a top 10 foe if he could. thwart Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev.

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