Nadal, Alcaraz, Swiatek win at US Open; Raducanu, Venus out
New York, United States, Aug 30 (EFE).- Spaniards Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz and women’s world No. 1 Iga Swiatek won their first round matches Tuesday at the United States Open, from which defending champion Emma Raducanu and the veteran Venus Williams bowed out.
Three years after his last involvement, when he was crowned champion in the final against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, Nadal returned to compete on center court and defeated Australia’s Rinky Hijikata 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
Nadal, a four-time champion in New York, had only played one match since an abdominal injury forced him to withdraw from the Wimbledon semifinals without playing Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.
The Spaniard’s Grand Slam win ratio this year therefore remains immaculate, with 20 wins from 20 matches and titles at the Australian Open and at Roland Garros.
Nadal played a three-hour and eight-minute match against the world No. 198 and will face Fabio Fognini in the second round Thursday. His record against the Italian stands at 13 wins and four losses – one of them in the 2015 United States Open.
No. 4 seed Carlos Alcaraz beat world No. 37 Argentine Sebastian Baez, who retired due to injury while losing 7-5, 7-5, 2-0.
Alcaraz, winner of four tournaments this year, including the 1,000 Masters in Miami and Madrid, lit up the Arthur Ashe court with spectacular tennis in his second ever match with Baez, after beating him last year in the New Generation Masters from Milan.
A quarterfinalist last year, he will face another Argentine, Federico Coria, who beat Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in the second round.
Poland’s Iga Swiatek beat Italian Jasmine Paolini by 6-3, 6-0 in just over an hour.
Swiatek, winner of six titles this season, marked her 51st victory of her extraordinary year and is looking to become the first Pole to move beyond this tournament’s quarterfinals in the open era.
Along with her, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka and American Jessica Pegula also advanced, defeating the American Catherine Harrison 6-1, 6-3 and Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-2 respectively.
The big surprise came from France’s Alize Cornet, when she beat Britain’s Emma Raducanu, the current title holder, 6-3, 6-3.
Raducanu had made history last year by being crowned as a world No. 150, but ran Tuesday into an in-form Cornet.
Tennis legend Venus Williams, champion in New York in 2000 and 2001, also said goodbye to the tournament, losing 6-1, 7-6 (4) against Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck.
It was a record 23rd appearance at the US Open for the 42 year old, despite her defeat.
Her sister Serena, 40, is scheduled to compete Wednesday in center court against world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. The match could be the last of the American’s professional career. EFE