Few would argue that New York City is the world capital of bagel consumption, and who is better prepared to participate than world number 1 Iga Swiatek? Swiatek, however, likes to be on the production end of the bagel experience, and her first customer in Flushing Meadows was Rebecca Peterson, whom Swiatek defeated 6-0, 6-1 in just under an hour.
Swiatek wasn't the only one delivering bagels in the opening day of U.S. Open play. Danielle Collins defeated Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2, 6-0, Daria Saville defeated Clervie Ngounoue 6-0, 6-2, and Karolina Muchova defeated Storm Hunter 6-4, 6-0.
Grinders will grind....
I can't imagine any player being happy to learn that either Sara Sorribes Tormo or Beatriz Haddad Maia is going to be on the other side of the net. They both display the kind of grit that was the signature of such WTA stars as Arantxa Sanchez and Francesca Schiavone, and Haddad Maia doesn't mind how long she stays on the court; she is--in fact--the queen of three-set matches.
Today, the Brazilian defeated 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in just under three hours--in other words, it was a typical Haddad Maia match. After the match, which had some very well-played points, Haddad Maia said that the key to winning it was "...to forgive myself when I was doing bad tennis." I like that.
Sorribes Tormo, for her part, defeated Anhilina Kalinina (does anyone on the tour have a better name?) 6-4, 7-5.
Maria Sakkari will lose in the first round....
World number 8 Maria Sakkari lost in the third round of the Australian Open. That must have been disappointing, but the worst was yet to come. She lost in the first round of the French Open and the first round of Wimbledon. And today, the Greek star lost in the first round of the U.S. Open. Sakkari lost to world number 71 Rebeka Massarova, who defeated her 6-4, 6-4.
The normally easygoing Sakkari hasn't been "herself" lately, for sure. She called for the banning of Amarissa Toth, which--no matter how you "saw" the incident in Budapest--was ridiculously over the top. Then, in Montreal, she spiked a ball into the crowd. It didn't hit anyone, but Sakkari's opponent, Danielle Collins, wasn't pleased that the chair umpire let the incident go. The ensuing discussion became unpleasant, and Collins--of course--took the brunt of the criticism for telling Sakkari to "shut your mouth." But the chair umpire was indeed derelict in letting the incident go while Sakkari continued to yell "But it didn't hit anyone!"
These things aren't important in and of themselves, but I'm looking at them through a wider lens, and it appears that perhaps all of the "almosts" and "should haves" may have taken their toll on Sakkari. Indeed, she indicated today that she may need to take a break from competition.
Also of note on day one....
4th seed Elena Rybakina--who sustained an injury in the disaster that was Montreal and then had to retire in Cincinnati--looked really good today when she defeated Marta Kostyuk (in her fantastic yellow Wilson dress) 6-2, 6-1.
Coco Gauff won a contentious match against Laura Siegemund, whom she defeated 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. She will next face 16-year-old Russian phenom Mirra Andreeva.
French vereran Alizé Cornet quietly made an exit, defeated 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 by famous lucky loser Elina Avanesyan.
Jen Brady won her first U.S. Open match since 2020; the comeback continues.
Also making a comeback is Ajla Tomljanovic, who has struggled on and off for with a knee injury for some time. She will play Rybakina in the next round.