Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Djokovic through as Pliskova crashes out of US Open



Djokovic through as Pliskova crashes out of US Open

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Top seed Karolina Pliskova was stunned in straight sets by France’s Caroline Garcia, the world No50. AFP

Djokovic through as Pliskova crashes out of US Open

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic overcame an early scare to move into the third round of the US Open Wednesday but top women’s seed Karolina Pliskova crashed out in the tournament’s first shock.

Djokovic extended an undefeated run in 2020 to 25 matches as Pliskova was stunned in straight sets by France’s Caroline Garcia, the world No50.

World No1 Djokovic dropped the first against Britain’s Kyle Edmund but rallied to progress 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 inside a subdued, spectator-free Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic said: “I’m really glad having an early kind of tough match because it kind of serves me better I think for the rest of the tournament.”

The Serbian superstar is looking to close the gap on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both absent from Flushing Meadows, in the race for the all-time men’s Slam singles title record.

The 33-year-old – who won an eighth Australian Open title in February – is on 17, with Nadal on 19 and Federer on 20.

Pliskova – the 28-year-old world No3 from the Czech Republic – suffered a miserable 1-6, 6-7 exit to a confident Garcia who rushed to a 5-0 lead in the first set.

Pliskova said her defeat was nothing to do with being elevated to the top of the draw after a host of high-ranking withdrawals over coronavirus fears.

“No, zero pressure from this for me. This is nothing to do with my loss today,” she sniffed.

Elsewhere in the men’s draw Wednesday, fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece defeated American Maxime Cressy 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-4 in his first runout on the famous Ashe court.

“It would have been even better with fans but getting a first taste of what it is was great for me,” he said.

Earlier fifth seed Alexander Zverev defeated US wildcard Brandon Nakashima in a far from smooth 7-5, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3, 6-1 win.

The world No7 traded 24 aces with 10 double faults against a player ranked 223 inside an empty but and humid Louis Armstrong Stadium to move into round three.

“I was sweating through my shoes, which is unusual,” said Zverev, explaining a footwear change during the match. “I needed to go from the dry tires to the wet tires a little bit.”

Belgian seventh seed David Goffin also progressed as the top seeds continue to dominate at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

In the women’s draw, 2018 champion Naomi Osaka sailed into the third round, dismantling Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-1, 6-2 in just 1hr 9min.

Sixth seed Petra Kvitova vanquished Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 while Germany’s Angelique Kerber beat compatriot Anna-Lena Friedsam in straight sets.

The 17th seed won 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) in one hour 40 minutes inside Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Also in the women’s event, unseeded Russian Varvara Gracheva dumped out French 30th seed Kristina Mladenovic 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-0.

Mladenovic’s exit came after a remarkable collapse. The Frenchwoman led 6-1, 5-1 and failed to convert four match points as Gracheva came roaring back to win.

“I just collapsed,” a gloomy Mladenovic said afterwards. “I had nothing left in the tank.”

The US Open is taking place in a spectator-free bubble, resulting in a staid atmosphere in contrast with the usual frenetic energy that pervades the grounds of the tennis center during Open week.

Game-winning points are being met with the odd clap from coaches and admiring glances from rival players watching from their own personal suites in Arthur Ashes.

Crowd noise is piped-in between sets while images of spectators cheering from their sofas at home are shown on “fan cams” around the Arthur Ashe court.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia