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Barty leads Aussies into round two at Flushing Meadows

Barty leads Aussies into round two at Flushing Meadows

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After a disappointing Day 1 for the Aussies at the US Open, it was a more successful day for the contingent with Ash Barty and Ajla Tomljanovic both storming into the second round.

Barty, fresh off winning the prestigious Cincinnati Open in the lead-up to the tournament, breezed through the first set of her match against 2010 finalist Vera Zvonareva before facing a sterner challenge in the second set.

The Queenslander had the chance to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second, but Zvonareva, who was also a beaten finalist at Wimbledon in the same year she reached the US Open final, proved why she was a one-time world number two by pushing it to a tiebreak.

The Russian held a set point in the breaker but Barty would save it before closing out proceedings with a straight-sets win, which was anchored by 31 winners, of which eleven were aces including a tour-leading 300th.

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Next in Barty’s path to glory at Flushing Meadows is a date with Danish teenager Clara Tauson; she will not have to face a seed until the quarter-finals after Karolina Muchova and Veronika Kudermetova both lost their first-round matches.

That came on top of the withdrawal of Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady, due to injury. However, the 25-year-old may still have to face Sara Sorribes Tormo, to whom she lost in the first round at the Tokyo Olympics, in the fourth round.

Countrywoman Ajla Tomljanovic also enjoyed a first-up win defeating American wildcard Katie Volynets in straight sets, not facing a single break point throughout and losing just three points on her first serve.

Her next match is against 30th-seeded Croat Petra Martic, in what will be their first meeting in a decade.

Other women’s matches saw victories for Olympic Gold Medallist Belinda Bencic, as well as former French Open champion Iga Swiatek and fourth seed Karolina Pliskova.

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No longer a teen sensation, American Amanda Anisimova marked her 20th birthday with a straight-sets win over Zarina Diyas; after the match, the fans wished her a happy birthday as she left the court.

Her next match is against Pliskova in a section that also includes French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and 24th-seeded Spaniard Paula Badosa.

In the late match that finished at 12:45am local time, sixth seed and 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu survived through a three-set thriller against Viktorija Golubic, winning it 7-5 in the final set.

In the men’s draw, Jordan Thompson had to come from two sets to love down to defeat Italian Gianluca Mager in five sets, but there was no such luck for 14th seed Alex de Minaur who went down in four to local player Taylor Fritz.

The loss means that de Minaur runs the risk of dropping down in the rankings, as he was defending a quarter-final appearance from last year.

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Elsewhere, men’s top seed Novak Djokovic needed four sets to defeat Holger Rune, who raised eyebrows when he arrived on Centre Court with an IKEA bag.

The Djoker won the first set for the loss of only one game but then lost the second set in a tiebreaker as Rune upped his game.

Ultimately, the 34-year-old, who is eyeing a record 21st Major men’s singles title, won the next two sets for the loss of just three games combined to advance to the second round.

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2014 finalist Kei Nishikori, Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini and Olympic Gold Medallist Alexander Zverev were also among the first-round winners, but two-time semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta bowed out after throwing away a two-set lead against American qualifier Maxime Cressy.

It was the second consecutive US Open match the Spaniard had lost from two sets up, also relinquishing that advantage in last year’s semi-final against Zverev – this coming after he became the beneficiary of Djokovic’s fourth-round default two rounds earlier.

Silver Medallist Karen Khachanov also bowed out, as he was beaten in five sets by South African Lloyd Harris.

With the first round done and dusted, second round action gets underway this morning with Naomi Osaka kicking off the day session on Arthur Ashe Stadium against Olga Danilovic, before men’s second seed Daniil Medvedev tackles German Dominik Koepfer.

An all-American clash between Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff headlines the evening session, before Stefanos Tsitsipas, fresh off his controversial five-set triumph against Andy Murray, takes on Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

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Two former Grand Slam champions in Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka will feature on Louis Armstrong Stadium with the chance to set up a third round clash if they beat Andrea Petkovic and Jasmine Paolini in their respective matches.

2016 champion Angelique Kerber then plays in the evening, following a clash between 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson and Argentine 11th seed Diego Schwartzman.

The first of the doubles matches also gets underway, while on Court 5 Alexei Popyrin will relish a tough test against former world number three Grigor Dimitrov.

Matches to watch on Day 3:

Arthur Ashe Stadium
Day session – play starts at 12:00pm (2:00am AEST)
Olga Danilovic (SRB) vs [3] Naomi Osaka (JPN)
Dominik Koepfer (GER) vs [2] Daniil Medvedev (RUS)

Night session – play starts at 7:00pm (9:00am AEST)
Sloane Stephens (USA) vs [21] Coco Gauff (USA)
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) vs [3] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

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Louis Armstrong Stadium
Day session – play starts at 11:00am (1:00am AEST)
Andrea Petkovic (GER) vs [9] Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
[18] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) vs Jasmine Paolini (ITA)
Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs Guido Pella (ARG)

Night session – play starts at 7:00pm (9:00am AEST)
Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs [11] Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
[16] Angelique Kerber (GER) vs Anhelina Kalinina (UKR)

Grandstand
Play starts at 11:00am (1:00am AEST)
[5] Andrey Rublev (RUS) vs Pedro Martinez (ESP)
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) vs [2] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)

For the full Day 3 schedule, please check the US Open website.

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