Maria Sharapova’s determined display helped her see off Hungary ‘s Timea Babos in straight sets while Venus Williams cruised past France’s Oceane Dodin comfortably. Nick Kyrgios lost to countryman John Millman in a controversial game that ended with the Australian ace hurting his shoulder.
Returning to a Grand Slam after 15 months, Maria Sharapova hasn’t been at her best for obvious reasons. But, the 30-year-old has shown immense determination in her comebacks of late and her latest win was one such instance.
The 2006 US Open winner had made as many as 19 unforced errors in the first set alone that included a pair of missed forehands and it was gifted to the 59th-ranked Babos. But, she made a strong comeback in the second set, cutting down her miscues to 12 unforced errors. It was followed by just five in the third set before she finished with a 39-13 advantage in winners.
While it was her return winners (14) that helped her get past Simona Halepin the last round, against Babos it was her serves. She won 16 of the last 19 points she served as she progressed 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1 in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Tournament favourite Venus Williams had a much easier game against France’s Oceane Dodin as the American whizzed past her opponent in just 87 minutes with a convincing 7-5, 6-4 straight sets win. Dodin could put little pressure in between when she crushed three straight winners for love-40, but Williams double-faulted to surrender the break. It was enough to put them back on serve and Williams broke back almost immediately and booked her spot in the third round.
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios continued to create headlines for the wrong reasons as after losing 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 to fellow countryman John Millman, the 22-year-old stated he doesn’t see himself dedicated to the game anymore.
The world No. 17 got into an argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos as he was warned for using bad language, which also drew boos from the crowd. His trainer was called upon as the player got his right shoulder massaged after he developed a sudden serving shoulder discomfort. However, his level of play dropped off severely and Kyrgios left the court in frustration that saw him disfiguring his racquet in a fit of anger.
It was unfortunate to watch him go as Kyrgios had arrived in New York with good momentum, beating Rafael Nadal along the way and reaching the finals in Cincinnati Open.
The other noteworthy events of the second round would be No. 4 Alexander Zverev getting eliminated by Borna Coric of Croatia. The 22-year-old German went down to a hard-fought game as he lost 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4). Juan Del Potro advanced to the next round with a comfortable win over Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6.