Wozniacki, Tsonga, Cilic Advance, Konta Dumped
The 2017 US Open had a rocky start to the tournament when the second women’s seed Simona Halep was sent packing out by former world number one Maria Sharapova in the first round.
Another contender and Britain’s Johanna Konta also crashed out of the competition in her opening women’s singles match while the men’s side of the draw saw the ouster of David Ferrer.
Halep would have always known she was up against a tough competitor in Sharapova, a player against whom she had lost six consecutive matches in the past. And things looked to be going the same way when she fell a set and a break down in the second set.
The Romanian, who could have claimed the number one ranking by the end of this year’s US Open, then fought back to win the second set 6-4 before losing the third and the match.
Sharapova was playing in her first Grand Slam match since the Australian Open after she had been suspended by the WTA for drug-intake. She had been given a wild-card for this tournament and by knocking the Cincinnati Open finalist out, she looks to have done herself no harm.
Also going out of the competition was seventh seeded Johanna Konta, who was another player with a chance to capture the top spot in the ranking. But an opening round defeat leaves her hopes punctured as she went down 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Aleksandra Krunic.
Garbine Muguruza lived up to her favourites billing with a one-sided win over Varvara Lepchenko while Venus Williams needed three sets to defeat Viktoria Kuzmova in her opener.
World number Caroline Wozniacki, one of the eight women in hunt for the top billing by the time this competition ends, also won in straight sets against Mihaela Buzarnescu. She made the second round winning 6-1, 7-5.
In the men’s section of the draw, Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic needed four sets to get past his first round opponent, but Ferrer went out to Mikhail Kukushkin.
Cilic looked to be cruising against Tennys Sandgren, having won the first two sets but the American came back strongly in the third. The Croat then closed out the match, winning 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Ferrer joined the 13th seeded Jack Sock as another early casualty at Flushing Meadows after he went down to Jordan Thompson in a gruelling five-setter.
Both Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and John Isner advanced to the second round as well, as did Sam Querrey, a Wimbledon semi-finalist earlier this year.