Ashleigh Barty overcame delayed nerves to end the run of Clara Tauson in the second round of the 2021 US Open. The world no. 1 won 6-1, 7-5 in an hour and 30 minutes. Barty raced away to a sure start in the match, building a 5-0 lead against her 18-year-old opponent.
While Tauson wasn’t overawed by the occasion, she struggled with her shots and despite her best efforts – her opening service game of the set saw Tauson save eight break points before Barty pocketed the break on her ninth break point – she wasn’t able to match up to her higher-ranked rival’s tactical superiority.
In comparison, the second set saw an unexpected shakiness from Barty. The Australian broke Tauson in the first game of the set but handed the break right back. It was the first time in the match that Barty had faced break points.
While the next four games remained on serve, Barty went up a break again in the seventh game of the set and this time around, consolidated the break to take a 5-3 lead. Serving for the match in the ninth game, Tauson faced a match point.
The Dane, however, played composedly to save the match point before winning the game, forcing Barty to try and serve out the match. The ask, however, looked to have gotten to the top seed who not only wasn’t able to bring up match point but also lost her serve for the second time in the set.
The setback didn’t long last for Barty though as she clinched the third break of serve in the set. Then, in the 12th game, while serving for the match for the second time, Barty found success on her third match point.
In the third round, Barty will play either Shelby Rogers or Sorana Cirstea.
US Open: Iga Swiatek survives Fiona Ferro
Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari were the two other seeds who started off on a successful note in the morning session at Flushing Meadows.
The Swiss, seeded 11th, defeated Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 while the 17th-seeded Greek won against Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 6-2. For a place in the pre-quarter-finals, Bencic will play either Misaki Doi or 23rd seed Jessica Pegula.
Sakkari will clash against either 10th seed Petra Kvitova or Kristyna Pliskova. Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo and Britain’s Emma Raducanu have set up a third-round clash against either. Sorribes Tormo won 6-1, 6-3 against Su-Wei Hsieh.
Raducanu, who qualified for the main draw, ousted Shuai Zhang 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. The sole upset of the morning session at the hands of Varvara Gracheva. The Russian took down 24th seed Paula Badosa 6-4, 6-4 in their second-round meeting.
For a spot in the fourth round, Gracheva will play either Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or 14th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Anett Kontaveit, the 28th-seeded Estonian, also took her place in the third round with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Bencic's compatriot, Jil Teichmann.
Lastly, seventh seed Iga Swiatek also reached the third round at the US Open. The Pole needed three sets to vanquish France’s, Fiona Ferro. Finally, after two hours and two minutes of play, Swiatek came from a set and a break down in the second set to wrap up a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-0 victory. Photo Credit: Darren Carroll/USTA