Gauff sets up Stephens clash as women’s seeds sail through

The top-ranked female players made a good start to the US Open, with the majority of them making sound progress to round two

Coco Gauff in Washington 2021

Day 1 in the women’s singles draw at the US Open began surprisingly calmly, with results going largely as expected – including wins for a quartet of former Grand Slam champions plus one reigning one, and a three-set victory for home favourite Coco Gauff.

Garbine Muguruza fought through two tie-break sets to beat Croatia’s Donna Vekic 7-6(4), 7-6(5), and 12th seed Simona Halep also had a straight sets win, 6-4, 7-6(3), against a tricky opponent, the in-form Camila Giorgi. Victoria Azarenka made a slow start against Tereza Martincova, falling behind 1-4, but came through to win the next 11 games in a row and triumph 6-4, 6-0.

Angelique Kerber, however, was 3-5 down in the final set against Dayana Yastremska before battling back to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3).

A reigning Grand Slam champion enjoyed her first entry into the US Open main draw – eighth seed Barbora Krejcikova, who won at Roland-Garros earlier this year, beat Astra Sharma 6-0, 6-4.

Gauff, seeded 21st, dropped the first set against Poland’s Magda Linette, but gathered herself to win 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 and set up a fascinating second-round clash with fellow American Sloane Stephens.

Newly-wed Elina Svitolina enjoyed a comfortable win over Rebecca Marino 6-2, 6-3, and there were victories also for 19th seed Elena Rybakina, who beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-3; 26th seed Danielle Collins, who beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-4; and 32nd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, who beat Sara Errani 6-3, 6-3.

Yulia Putintseva is the only seed to fall in the day session so far, losing to Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.

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