World No.1 Rafael Nadal kicked off his US Open campaign in style on Tuesday as he beat Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 6-2 to move into the second round. However, the women’s section saw another upset as Naomi Osaka dumped out defending champion Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round.
A rain soaked day in New York caused Nadal’s match to be played under the roof of the Arthur Ashe stadium, and the Spaniard was up against it in the first set as the Serbian served for the opening set at one stage, but Nadal broke back and won the set.
After that initial scare, however, Nadal dominated the rest of the match as he went onto clinch a straight set victory. Though Lajovic had managed an incredible 83% first serve rate in the opening set while also producing nine winners, he could not maintain the same level of tennis over the next two sets which eventually cost him. Nadal will face Japan's Taro Daniel or American Tommy Paul next.
No other men's matches were completed on day two because of the rain which arrived after less than two hours' play and forced the cancellation of the schedule on the outside courts.
In the women’s section, Osaka stunned defending champion Kerber 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round. With this upset, Osaka managed to banish the memories of squandering a 5-1 lead in the final set of her match against Madison Keys at the Arthur Ashe.
In the 65 minute encounter against Kerber, Osaka played a brilliant brand of power tennis as she conjured up 22 winners enroute to booking a place in the second round. Kerber’s exit was also notable as no US Open defending champion had lost in the first round the following year since Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005, but the German could not get going against Osaka on the day.
In another game, French Open Champion and No.12 Jelena Ostapenko had to fend off the soggy weather and a spirited opponent in Lara Arruabarrena before she moved into round two after a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 over the Spaniard in an hour and 40 minutes.