US Open 2019: Serena Crushes Sharapova, Nagal Takes Set off Federer

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The first day at the 2019 US Open continued with Serena Williams making short work of Russia’s Maria Sharapova while India’s Sumit Nagal sending potential shock-waves by taking a set off the maestro Roger Federer in round one.

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It’s been 15 years since Sharapova defeated Serena Williams in a match and that record wasn’t about to get broken on day one at the 2019 US Open. Serena romped to a 6-1, 6-1 win over arch-rival Sharapova to storm into the second round of this final major of the year.

It was Serena’s 19th straight win over Sharapova, and the most convincing the 2012 Olympics final where the American had been a 6-0, 6-1 winner. And it took Serena less than 60 minutes to get off court, following on from sister Venus Williams who had earlier needed 66 minutes to crush Zheng Saisai in another round one match.

On the other hand, it wasn’t plain sailing for the third seeded Federer, who was taken to four sets and was broken twice in his opening match against India’s Sumit Nagal.

Nagal isn’t quite a household name in India but after taking Federer to four sets, one can expect to hear a lot about him. Nagal, who needed three wins in the qualifiers to make it to the main draw, romped past a surprised Swiss maestro in the first set before things settled down a tad.

Federer struggled to find any rhythm in that eventful first set but credit where it’s due, Nagal played the level of tennis required to take advantage of it. The world number three came back after that to take the match in four sets but Nagal’s powerful forehands, especially in that opening set will be ones to remember.

In the end, Federer outdid Nagal on the winners count, slamming nearly four times his opponent’s count, and clinched the match 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the second round. He will now face Damir Dzumhur in his next match before potential matches against Lucas Pouille and David Goffin in his next two rounds.

Fifth seeded Elina Svitolina also moved into the second round win a win over American wildcard Whitney Osuigwe, and will now play Venus in her second round match.

Some of the other results included a 7-6, 6-3 win for the 20th seeded Sofia Kenin over Coco Vandeweghe, Wang Qiang, the 18th seed, was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Caroline Dolehide and 33rd seed Zhang Shuai, who was awarded a seeding after the withdrawal of Marketa Vondousova, defeated Viktoria Golubic in their opening matches.

The 15th seeded David Goffin also advanced but not before he had dropped a set in his win against Corentin Moutet, while 19th seeded Guido Pella was sent packing by Pablo Carreno Busta.

Roger Federer was taken to four sets by Sumit Nagal
Roger Federer Beat Sumit Nagal in a Four-Setter. Photo Credit: Samir Talwar

The 12th seeded Borna Coric was a slow starter before registering a 7-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Evgenny Donskoy and 25th seeded Lucas Pouille needed four sets to win his opener against Germany’s veteran Phil Kohlschreiber.

There was good news for the former world number three but out of form Grigor Dimitrov, who was a 6-1, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 winner over Andreas Seppi while 30th seeded Maria Sakkari crushed Camila Giorgi 6-1, 6-0 in one of the most one-sided contest of the day.

It wasn’t a good day for Britain’s Cameron Norrie though, as he went down fighting to Gregoire Barerre in a five-set thriller.

About Suneer Chowdhary 908 Articles
Suneer is a Mumbai-based freelance sports journalist with a special affinity towards cricket and tennis. He has also covered six ICC tournaments including Cricket World Cups and Champions Trophy.

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