Romania’s Simona Halep and Britain’s Johanna Konta were both surprisingly eliminated in the opening round of the US Open as they lost to Maria Sharapova and Aleksandra Krunic respectively. In men’s section, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga progressed after a straight sets win over Romanian Marius Copil.
Maria Sharapova made a controversial return at the US Open via a wild card after sitting out of all Grand Slams since January 2016 following a positive drug test, and the 30-year-old was expected to be tested by the No.2 seed Simona Halep in the first round. However, the Russian secured a comfortable 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over the Romanian at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
With Serena Williams, skipping the tournament due to pregnancy, eight women had the chance to reach the No.1 ranking on Monday. However, Halep was not the only one to miss out on the opportunity as Johanna Konta, too bowed out to Aleksandra Krunic after a 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 defeat at the hands of the Serbian. After Andy Murray withdrew from the tournament with an injury, Britain’s hopes of gaining anything from this Grand Slam had rested predominantly upon the seventh-seeded
The 26-year-old, who was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon last month had managed to take the first set without too much trouble as she raced to a 4-1 lead before closing out the set. However, she failed to capitalize on the advantage as her 24-year-old Serbian opponent, who is currently ranked No. 78, came back to take the second set, before edging Konta out in a nervous final set.
Meanwhile, fifth-seed Dane Caroline Wozniacki cruised into the second round by defeating Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1, 7-5 in straight sets. Apart from her, ninth-seed Venus Williams kicked off her tournament with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win over 19-year-old Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova. In another game, third seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza advanced to the second round with a 6-0, 6-3 thrashing of home favorite Varvara Lepchenko.
In the men's section. Kyle Edmund remains Britain's only realistic hope at Flushing Meadows after he enjoyed a convincing 6-3 7-5 6-3 win over German World No. 36 Robin Haase. Finally, former World No.1 David Ferrer suffered a shock 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 loss to Mikhail Kukushkin, as World No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, had an easy 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Romanian Marius Copil.