Rafael Nadal Breezes into US Open Second Round, Sloane Stephens Loses to Qualifier and Coco Gauff Rallies for a Win
(August 27, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – World No. 2 Rafael Nadal easily dispatched his first-round opponent, Australian John Millman 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to open to the night session on Tuesday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium on day 2 of the US Open.
Millman beat Roger Federer last year in the fourth round.
Nadal will be playing another Australian in the next round – wild card Thanasi Kokkinakis.
“He has a big forehand, big serve,” said Nadal to media. “He’s a dangerous opponent, of course. I need to go on court and to play well. If not, will be a very difficult match.
“So let’s see. I think I had more or less positive feelings tonight. I need to keep improving every single day. Winning with that result allow me more to have a good practice. I hope to be ready for after tomorrow knowing is a tough challenge, Thanasi in the second round.”
Nadal was asked about his side of the draw, where four out of the top 10 seeds have been upset.
“That’s tennis. That’s all the reaction I can say, no? When you start the tournament, you have difficult opponents in front. You need to go on court and respect every single opponent.
“I went on court today against a tough opponent knowing that I need to play well to win. If you play bad, you can lose. Tsitsipas had a very tough first round. Of course, Karen is a surprise. I think Thiem have been very sick for the last 10 days. I feel very sorry for him.”
“Roberto was a surprise. Honestly, I’m very sad for him.”
CoCo Gauff, 15 made her main draw debut at the US Open , one to remember. The wild card, down a set and a break, ba, tottling back from a break in the third set, to make it past another teen, 18-year-old Anastasia Potapova of Russia 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the second round on the US Open.
Gauff reached the fourth round of Wimbledon as a qualifier, beating Venus Williams in the first round.
“It was crazy. Obviously I was nervous going out on the court,” said Gauff. “It’s such a big court. Then my home slam, so I wanted to do well.
“The crowd really helped me the whole match. Like, it was really a great atmosphere to play in and a great experience for me.”
“I just wanted to win so bad, I was trying to really dig deep. I was like, You got to make her play. She’s not going to hand it to you.
“We had a couple long rallies, then I got some winners here and there. Honestly, I mean, I really don’t remember the match too well because everything is still a blur. But I do remember I think that 4-All game, it was just like a lot of battling.”
Gauff admitted to some nerves in the first set. “This is my first main draw US Open, I’m playing on Louis Armstrong, second biggest court,” she said. “After the first set, I was kind of like I have to reset, stop thinking about what would happen after the match, just think about what I need to do to win the second set.”
Gauff will play Timea Babos in the next round.
Even her old coach who was with her for her lone major, the 2017 US Open, didn’t help Sloane Stephens at this year’s US Open. Stephens lost her opening match to Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya, 6-3, 6-4, playing her first main draw of the US Open and netting first match-win at a major tournament.
Stephens old coach Kamau Murray returned to Stephens last week. He had been working with Monica Puig, 2-10 Olympic gold medal singles winner.
Asked about the story that has been reported in the media that Murray dumped Puig at the last minute, Stephens said: “I think there’s two sides to every story. I don’t think that you should tell anything but the truth. I’ve seen some of the things that were said. I think that grownups do grownup things. We should leave it in the past and we should move on.”
When Stephens was asked about her side of the story, she said to reporters: “It doesn’t have anything to do with me, so… Her side is her side. Whatever she said.
“But I don’t think we should make it a big situation. I’m sure she’s fully aware of what happened. If she has a problem, then she should approach me. It’s not like I don’t see her all the time.
“Yeah, to go to you guys and say everything that has been said I think is a little inappropriate. But it is what it is. We move on.”
“I think she just played a good match, difficult conditions,” Stephens said of her oppoent “I didn’t play my best. Sometimes it happens.”
“I think when I’m not playing as consistent as I’d like to, I think it’s more on my side. I was playing one good point, one bad point, one good point. The inconsistency doesn’t help me at all.
“She did a good job just staying there, keep fighting. She never really let me in. Kudos to her. She executed her game style really well.”
Nick Kyrgios played the last match of the night on Louis Armstrong Stadium. The Australian beat American Steve Johnson in straight sets to advance.
WOMEN’S SINGLES RESULTS – AUGUST 27, 2019
Singles – First Round
 N. Osaka (JPN) d. A. Blinkova (RUS) 64 67(5) 62
 S. Halep (ROU) d. [LL] N. Gibbs (USA) 63 36 62
 P. Kvitova (CZE) d. [Q] D. Allertova (CZE) 62 64
 K. Bertens (NED) d. P. Badosa Gibert (ESP) 64 62
 A. Sabalenka (BLR) d. V. Azarenka (BLR) 36 63 64
[Q] A. Kalinskaya (RUS) d.  S. Stephens (USA) 63 64
 B. Bencic (SUI) d. M. Minella (LUX) 63 62
 B. Andreescu (CAN) d. [WC] K. Volynets (USA) 62 64
 C. Wozniacki (DEN) d. Y. Wang (CHN) 16 75 63
 A. Kontaveit (EST) d. S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 61 61
 D. Vekic (CRO) d. [Q] R. Hogenkamp 76(4) 63
A. Riske (USA) d.  G. Muguruza (ESP) 26 61 63
 E. Mertens (BEL) d. J. Teichmann (SUI) 62 62
 J. Goerges (GER) d. N. Vikhlantseva (RUS) 16 61 76(1)
[Q] T. Babos (HUN) d.  C. Suarez Navarro (ESP) 62 ret. (low back injury)
A. Bolsova (ESP) d.  B. Strycova (CZE) 63 06 61
M. Linette (POL) d. A. Sharma (AUS) 63 64
A. Tomljanovic (AUS) d. M. Bouzkova (CZE) 16 75 61
A. Cornet (FRA) d. J. Pegula (USA) 62 63
Y. Putintseva (KAZ) d. M. Brengle (USA) 63 63
K. Kanepi (EST) d. T. Maria (GER) 57 76(4) 63 – saved three match points
A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. P. Parmentier (FRA) 61 76(2)
S. Cirstea (ROU) d. K. Siniakova (CZE) 75 62
D. Collins (USA) d. P. Hercog (SLO) 63 46 64
J. Ostapenko (LAT) d. A. Krunic (SRB) 63 76(7)
Kr. Pliskova (CZE) d. [WC] D. Parry (FRA) 64 63
A. Petkovic (GER) d. M. Buzarnescu (ROU) 63 64
[Q] T. Townsend (USA) d. K. Kozlova (UKR) 36 63 62
[WC] C. Gauff (USA) d. A. Potapova (RUS) 36 62 64
[WC] F. Di Lorenzo (USA) d. V. Kudermetova (RUS) 76(4) 62
[WC] K. Ahn (USA) d. S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 75 62
[LL] K. Flipkens (BEL) d. [LL] X. Wang (CHN) 36 62 62