Home Sports Top-seeded Karolina Pliskova stunned in early US Open exit

Top-seeded Karolina Pliskova stunned in early US Open exit

0



The top-ranked women’s players in the world, Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep, opted out of this year’s U.S. Open amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Karolina Pliskova, ranked right behind Barty and Halep, chose to play — and she barely lasted longer than the aforementioned stars.

Seeded No. 1 at the Open, Pliskova dropped her second-round match to Caroline Garcia of France in straight sets, 6-1, 7-6 (2), blowing open the top half of the women’s singles draw that was already weakened with six of the top 10 women opting not to play in the fan-less tournament.

Pliskova’s early exit leaves No. 4 Naomi Osaka, No. 6 Petra Kvitova and No. 8 Petra Martic as the top-seeded players in the top half of the draw, opening it up for an unexpected player to make a big run. If Garcia performs like she did on Wednesday, maybe she can stay in Queens longer than expected.

“[There was] zero pressure from this for me [being the top seed],” Pliskova said over Zoom following the loss at Louis Armstrong Stadium. “[That had] nothing to do with my loss today.”

Garcia, ranked as high as No. 4 in 2018, cruised to the first set in 33 minutes and was ahead in the second, before temporarily losing her stranglehold on the match. Up a break and 4-2, the 26-year-old Garcia dropped three straight games, but rallied to force the tiebreaker. There, she rolled to the upset, beating Pliskova for the fourth time in seven meetings. She will face 25-year-old American Jennifer Brady, the 28th seed who won her first WTA title last month, in the third round, looking to reach the Round of 16 in a major for the first time since 2017.

“I knew I could give her trouble for sure,” Garcia, ranked 50th in the world, said of Pliskova. “She gets a lot of confidence from her serve, so I was trying to be really focused on the return and trying to make as many returns as I could.“I had sometimes a little bit of luck, but I was really going for it.”

It was a forgettable trip to New York City for the Czech, who was also ousted in the first round of the Open tuneup, the Western & Southern, which was also played at the USTA Tennis Center. This marked her earliest exit from the Open since going out in the first round in 2015.

“To be honest, I think my feeling is completely different from what you guys see,” Pliskova said, referring to the media. “I mean, I had tough three matches I think. Definitely I could play better. I didn’t play matches for a while, so I think maybe it can take some time to get back in the tournament rhythm.”

Pliskova’s early exit leaves No. 4 Naomi Osaka, No. 6 Petra Kvitova and No. 8 Petra Martic as the top-seeded players in the top half of the draw, opening it up for an unexpected player to make a big run. If Garcia performs like she did on Wednesday, maybe she can stay in Queens longer than expected.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here