Defending champion Iga Swaitek opens her account with victory in the US Open

Iga Swiatek began her US Open title defence with an emphatic first-round victory as eighth seed Maria Sakkari fell to a surprising loss.

World number one Swiatek breezed to a 6-Love, 6-1 win over Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson in 58 minutes.

Sakkari had a day to forget on Court 17 as she fell 6-4 , 6-4 to world number 71 Rebeka Masarova of Spain.

Elsewhere, Beatriz Haddad Maia beat 2017 champion Sloane Stephens and Elena Rybakina cruised into the second round.

Rybakina beat Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-1 despite struggling in the build-up to the tournament with a shoulder injury.

Home favourite Coco Gauff will play in the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, while Caroline Wozniacki makes her return to Grand Slam tennis on Louis Armstrong.

Gauff, Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka, who plays on Tuesday are among the favourites to challenge Swiatek for the title in New York.

Swiatek has won both previous meetings with world number 86 Peterson and came through this encounter on Arthur Ashe Stadium in imperious style.

The 22-year-old Pole, who is bidding to win her fifth Grand Slam title, will face Daria Saville of Australia in the second round.

Greece’s Sakkari became the first top 10 player to fall in the women’s draw.

Sakkari raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set but her unseeded opponent Masarova responded in fine fashion to hand Sakkari her third consecutive first-round Grand Slam loss.

American Stephens, champion in 2017, was beaten by Brazilian 19th seed Haddad Maia 6-2 5-7 6-4 with five breaks traded in a thrilling deciding set on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Victoria Azarenka made light work of Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro in their match at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.

The 18th seed, who reached the US Open final in 2012, 2013 and 2020, wrapped up a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 victory over the world 190.

Elsewhere, on the men’s side there wins for Dominik Thiem, Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz and the 4th seeded Holger Rune.


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