The US Open returned to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this week with no fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a roundup of Wednesday’s action.
No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova falls
No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova didn’t seem bothered by the strange circumstances of the 2020 US Open in a straight-sets win in the opening round.
That was not the case in Round 2, a stunning 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) loss to Caroline Garcia in the first major upset of the tournament. Pliskova had no answers early as Garcia opened the match by winning the first five games.
She managed to avoid a first-set shutout in picking up the sixth game. But Garcia held serve in the next game to secure the set.
Pliskova smashes racket
Garcia then broke Pliskova for the first game of the second set, prompting the normally reserved Pliskova to slam her racket on the court.
Pliskova didnt' even threw that racket with power and look at that poor racket pic.twitter.com/CQ3fdJqbmZ— LorenaPopa 🕵️♀️🎾 (@popalorena) September 2, 2020
Pliskova eventually found her rhythm and broke Garcia to tie the set at 4-4 to put the pressure back on her opponent.
But when the second set went to a tiebreak, Garcia regained her mettle and cruised, 7-2 to secure the upset. It was her first win over a top-10 player in a Grand Slam tournament. Garcia advances to face No. 28 seed Jennifer Brady in the third round.
Pliskova, 28, remains in pursuit of her first Grand Slam title.
Dkjokovic rallies after dropping first set
Novak Djokovic avoided a similar fate to Pliskova after dropping the first set of his second-round match to Kyle Edmund in a tiebreak.
The No. 1 seed in the men’s draw never let Edmund close again, controlling the rest of the match en route to a 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory. Djokovic advances to a third-round matchup against No. 28 Jan-Lennard Struff.
The world No. 1 is in search of his fourth US Open championship and 18th career Grand Slam title.
Naomi Osaka advances, honors Elijah McClain
She followed through on Wednesday, showing up to Arthur Ashe Stadium with a mask bearing the name of Elijah McClain to her second-round win over Camila Giorgi. McClain was a 23-year-old Black man who died in 2019 after police in Aurora, Colorado placed him in a chokehold called a cartoid hold intended to restrict blood flow to the brain.
Osaka defeated Giorgi, 6-1, 6-2 to advance to third-round play. That presumably means she will honor another victim of police violence at her next match against Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk after announcing on Monday that she arrived to New York with 7 masks with 7 different names that would carry her to an appearance in the final round.
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