NEW YORK (AP) – Garbiñe Muguruza doesn’t want to obsess over New York and the US Open, the Grand Slam he’s choking on.
A former champion at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, as well as a finalist in Australia, the Spaniard has never gone beyond the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
Her history here includes three eliminations in the first round and another four in the second, results that are far from the reputation she has on the women’s tennis circuit.
On Wednesday, Muguruza played flawlessly to get through the second round of the US Open for the first time since 2017 by beating her German friend Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2.
Faced with an opponent to whom he had lost all three of his previous games, Muguruza led 3-0 in both sets, exhibiting precision in his shots, agility when defending and also efficiency when going up to the net.
How to reverse your luck at the US Open? He says it is a matter of not obsessing over it.
“I feel encouraged, trying to take away the iron from the tournament because I try to do everything perfectly, and that has made me a bit obsessed many times, and that in the matches I did not get the best of me,” she said.
A clash against another veteran: Victoria Azarenka awaits the ninth seed. The three-time runner-up on the lathe and current 18th seed counted 6-3, 7-6 (1) from Italy’s Jasmine Paolini.
Muguruza feels something different in his ninth US Open.
“I am in a learning process. I feel that now I enjoy being here more and that I know the surface more, ”said Muguruza. “It is true that I have not gotten used to this tournament well in recent years, but I feel that this may be my year.”
On a gray and rainy afternoon, defending champion Naomi Osaka entered the third round without playing after her rival withdrew from the tournament because she felt unwell.
Osaka was going to face Serbian Olga Danilovic in the first match of the day at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Japanese would have come out in search of her 17th consecutive victory in a Grand Slam tournament. After skipping Wimbledon to take care of her mental health, the star reappeared at the big dates on Monday night by beating Czech Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-1.
The two-time US Open champion has not lost in a Grand Slam since Coco Gauff beat her at the 2020 Australian Open.
Indoors at the Ashe and a deluge outside by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, Sloane Stephens has won eight of the last 10 games to eliminate Gauff 6-4, 6-2 in an Americans duel. The heavy rain that rumbled on the roof of the stadium made it impossible to hear when the rackets hit the balls.
Only one other field in Flushing Meadows may be covered in rain, but even there there were problems at night. The wind carried the water into the Louis Armstrong, and the meeting between Argentine Diego Schwartzman and Kevin Anderson was interrupted for almost half an hour, tied 5-5 in the first set.
The workers tried to dry the surface in the first set but the actions stopped again in the second set, when the court got so wet that the attempt to dry the puddles was abandoned.
Finally the organizers decided that that match would move to Ashe, where Schwartzman won 7-6 (4), 6-3 and 6-4 after the conclusion of the duel that Stefanos Tsitsipas won 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-0 to Adrian Mannarino.
Instead of Osaka in the Ashe, Romanian Simona Halep (12th seeded) entered the scene to dispatch Slovakian Kristina Kucova 6-3, 6-1 and reach the third round of the tournament for the first time since she was glimpsed in the quarter round in 2016.
Like Muguruza, Halep has Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles to his name. But he was fired at the first changers here in both 2017 and 2018 – the latest disappointment left him with an unenviable distinction: the first time the top seed fell on his debut.
But he has come back strong after missing the French Open and Wimbledon through injury.
“I already have a better result than when I was healthy, so it is a delight to be in the third round here,” he joked.
In the men’s draw, Daniil Medvedev did not struggle to advance to the third round, winning 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer. The Russian – second-seeded and runner-up in 2019 – met up with Spaniard Pablo Andújar in the next round.
Also Russian Andrey Rublev (5th seeded) used four sets to beat Spanish Pedro Martínez 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1.
It was an adverse day for the Latin American contingent.
Chilean Cristian Garín (16 seeded) capitulated in the second round with a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-4 loss to Swiss Henri Laaksonen. Argentine Guido Pella was swept in three sets by American Frances Tiafoe. A duel of Argentines ensured that Facundo Bagnis reached the third round by beating Marco Trungelliti in four sets.
Colombian teenager María Camila Osorio’s first US Open ended with a resounding 6-0, 6-1 loss to Tunisian Ons Jabeur (20th seeded).
“I tried, but it wasn’t a good day,” said Osorio, the 2019 junior tournament champion and current ranking number 80. “I couldn’t hurt him in any way.”