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In the first round of the US Open, Serena Williams passes, Tsitsipas breaks and the Swiss pass away

In the first round of the US Open, Serena Williams passes, Tsitsipas breaks and the Swiss pass away

In an American staging, Serena Williams qualified Monday evening for the second round of the US Open, which could be the last tournament of her phenomenal career, beating Montenegrin Danka Kovinic (80th in the world) 6-3 6-3. Dressed in black sequins, hair styled in a lioness mane, the Californian entered the Arthur-Ashe Stadium while the word “Queen” (Queen) was displayed on the screens. Carried by the 24,000 people in the stadium, including Mike Tyson, Martina Navratilova, Lindsey Vonn and even Spike Lee, the queen of tennis relied on the public – sometimes very unsportsmanlike vis-à-vis Kovinic, and her service to to qualify.

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“The public was crazy and really helped me,” thanked Serena Williams, six times titled at the US Open, who announced the end of her career, at 40 years old. Williams broke the opener to lead 2-0 in the first set. But Montenegrin won the next three games to lead 3-2. However, on two crowd-acclaimed double faults, she let Williams back into the game. The American lined up three games to lead 5-3 and serve to win the first set.

In the next round, the 40-year-old American with 23 Grand Slam titles, who is now ranked 605th in the WTA, will face world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit. Will this be his last singles match? “I got pretty vague on that, didn’t I? I will stay because you never know,” she said at a press conference.

Tsitsipas’ nightmare

The surprise of the night came from the men’s draw where Colombian qualifier Daniel Galan eliminated Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, world No. 5, in the first round (6-0 6-1 3-6 7-5). Tsitsipas lost the first eleven games of the match, perhaps embarrassed in the right arm. Diminished or not, the Greek never made it to the US Open, where he never made it past the third round as he reached the final at Roland Garros, the semis in Australia and the round of 16. final at Wimbledon.

“I’m super happy!” said Galan, who was playing his very first match in the main draw of the American Major. He will face the Australian Jordan Thompson (102nd) in the next round.

Another surprise, the defeat of the Romanian Simona Halep, seeded No. 7, who remained on a victory at the WTA 1000 in Toronto, but who was eliminated as soon as she entered the running in three sets by the Ukrainian Daria Snigur (124th world). It’s a pretty unexpected underperformance from the former world No. 1 (in 2017), crowned at Roland-Garros (2018) and Wimbledon (2019), who seemed to have recorded her return in Ohio front and center a year after dropping out of the Top 10 due to a series of shoulder and thigh injuries.

Warinka gives up

The pensum of Stan Wawrinka, who returned this spring after a long absence, continues. Now 295th in the ATP rankings, the Vaudois gave up in his first round against Corentin Moutet (ATP 112). Winner of this US Open in 2016, Stan Wawrinka threw in the towel when he was led 6-4 7-6 (9-7) by the lucky Parisian loser. A discomfort in the left thigh prompted him to shorten a part that escaped him. This is his tenth defeat in thirteen games in 2022, the sixth in a row. If his level of play is correct, his inability to score important points becomes crippling. At 37, will the triple Grand Slam winner still have the patience to wait a long time for this famous click behind which he has been running for months?

Read also: For Wawrinka, the Bublik stop in the first round

“The end is coming, that’s for sure, but as long as I love what I’m doing, I want to continue, even if I won’t play again at my level before, said Stan Wawrinka after his retirement. You need results, because you can’t stay on the circuit and always lose. I feel like I’m playing better, I feel better. I’m not winning yet, but I feel it will come back soon. I’m sure of it and that’s why I’m going to keep fighting a bit.”

Teichmann falls back into his ways

The click, Jil Teichmann thought to have found it at Roland-Garros, where she signed this spring a course finally worthy of her talent (fourth round). Alas, the Seelandaise, 30th in the world, still has so many difficulties in Grand Slam. For her fifth participation, she lost 6-4 6-2 to the Chinese Zhang Shuai (36th WTA). Eleven of his twelve appearances in a Major have ended in defeats in the first (8 times) or second round (3 times).

Read also: Jil Teichmann, the reliable link

Alexander Ritschard was already happy to be there. Coming from the qualifications, the Zurich man, 186th in the world, offered good resistance to the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime. The No. 8 seed won in four sets, 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-3. Like on his big Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon against Stefanos Tsitsipas, Ritschard won a set against a much higher ranked opponent. Alas, the 28-year-old from Zurich lacked efficiency to create a surprise, converting only two break points out of twelve.

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