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Garcia stuns top seed Pliskova, Gracheva produces epic comeback

It had been a tournament with no big upsets so far on the women’s side, perhaps bar the exit of veteran Venus Williams on Tuesday. All that was about to change on day 3…

Caroline Garcia produced arguably the biggest upset of the US Open to date, the Frenchwoman upsetting former runner-up and top seed Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 7-6.

The day’s later results bucked the early trend of favoured players sailing through on day 3 of the championships, former champ and 17th seed Angelique Kerber surviving a surprisingly tough test to oust Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3, 7-6 after the opening match on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

But there were some shocks in the offing… Some VERY BIG SHOCKS!

The matches that ended as we anticipated

  • Croatia’s Petra Martic was the next to advance, the No 8 seed defeating former top 30 player Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-4.
  • Another more well known Petra, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, suffered a slight wobble early on in her match against Kateryna Kozlova. But the 6th seed came from a break down and staved off a set point before advancing 7-6, 6-2.
  • No shock either for No 14 seed Anett Kontaveit, who came through 6-4, 6-1 against Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan.
  • 28th seed Jennifer Brady emerged as the winner of the home players, beating US compatriot Catherine Bellis 6-1, 6-2.
  • Yulia Putintseva is becoming a regular feature in the third round of major tennis tournaments, having ventured thus far on four occasions, to go with 12 second round slam berths. And she had few problems making it four after beating Vera Lapko of Belarus 6-3, 6-3.
  • No 4 seed Naomi Osaka blitzed Camila Giorgi 6-1, 6-1 to kick off the night session in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The surprises of the day

  • Marketa Vondrousova announced herself on the world tennis stage last year, finishing runner-up in the French Open to Ashleigh Barty. She also made the fourth round here at Flushing Meadows in 2018, but put up little resistance against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, ranked 106, the Belarusian winning 6-1, 6-2.
  • No 31 seed Anastasija Sevastova, who defeated Coco Gauff in round one, bowed out to Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 7-6(5).
  • No 19 seed Dayana Yastremska is out, as well, having succumbed to Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-3.
  • Americans were on the upset trail throughout the day, as Shelby Rogers preceded Brengle into the third round. Rogers routed No 11 seed Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-1. The two compatriots will face each other for a spot in the last 16.
  • Vavara Gracheva was 1-6, 1-5 and four match points down against 30th seed Kristina Mladenovic before recovering to win 12 of the next 13 games for surely one of the greatest comebacks ever witnessed in grand slam tennis history. A shame there were no fans there to watch the drama unfold…
  • That may have been the biggest drama, but surely the biggest surprise was the top-seeded player going out, former finalist Karolina Pliskova losing 6-1, 7-6 to the talented Caroline Garcia.

The hard-fought battles of the day

  • Former champion Angelique Kerber was given a real fright from compatriot Anna-Lena Friedsam, coming back from a break down in the second set and a min-break in the tie-breaker to battle her way through to the third round.
  • The success of the seeds continued but only just, as 24th seeded Pole Magda Linette overcame Danka Kovinic, but was made to work hard in a 6-1, 6-7, 7-6 victory.
  • And Jessica Pegula had to fight hard to come from a set down in two tight tie-breakers to finally triumph against the net-rushing game of Kirsten Flipkens, the American winning 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.

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