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Romania’s Simona Halep is the first seed (N.12) to qualify for the second round of the US Open, which Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Russian Andrey Rublev will try to do right after her, Monday after – midday with the gentlemen.
Halep, 13th player in the world, winner of Roland-Garros in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019, beaten with difficulty 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) the Italian Camila Giorgi (36th), who pushed her to the decisive game in the second set after breaking to 6-5 against her.
The one whose best run at Flushing Meadows took her to the semifinals in 2015 will face Slovakian Kristina Kucova, a lucky loser from qualifying, in the next round, who beat American Ann Li 7-5, 6-1.
In the lower part of her table is defending champion Naomi Osaka, whose debut will be watched with attention. The Japanese, 3rd in the world, who had started the season perfectly by winning the Australian Open, then went through difficult months.
First there was the controversy, born of his refusal to answer questions from the media at Roland Garros, which earned him financial penalties and led to his resounding forfeit before the second round. The whole having updated anxiety problems, marked by “several depressive episodes”.
After a break that led her to skip Wimbledon, she missed her return to the Tokyo Games where, after lighting the Olympic cauldron, she cracked under the pressure in the round of 16. And in Cincinnati, two weeks ago, she burst into tears for her first press conference on the WTA circuit since Roland Garros, before giving in in the third round to the Swiss Jil Teichmann, 76th in the world.
Without much benchmark therefore, Osaka should not however fear the opposition embodied by the Czech Marie Bouzkova at the end of the afternoon on the Arthur Ashe court.
No more than Belarusians Aryna Sabalenka (2nd world) and Victoria Azarenka (19th), finalist last year, respectively opposed to Serbian Nina Stojanovic (94th) and Czech Tereza Martinkova (60th).
For the men, the poster of the day will take place in the afternoon on the Arthur Ashe between Stefanos Tsitsipas (3rd in the world), in search of a first Grand Slam coronation and the veteran Andy Murray, 34, triple winner of Majors (US Open 2012, Wimbledon 2013, 2016) and who is trying to resurface at the highest level after being injured for a long time in a hip.
Other expected entries, those of the two Russians Daniil Medvedev, 2nd in the world and Andrey Rublev, 7th in the world.
The first, solid this summer with a victory at the Masters 1000 in Toronto, will face the French Richard Gasquet (79th) in the night session. The second, finalist in Cincinnati, will be opposed a little earlier to the big Croatian server Ivo Karlovic, the oldest player on the circuit, 42 years old and dropped back to 221st place.