Caroline Garcia Knocks Out No. 1 Seed Karolina Pliskova at US Open, Novak Djokovic Advances in Four Sets
(September 2, 2020) Top seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic lost in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday to France’s Caroline Garcia 6-1, 7-6 (2). Garcia, ranked 50th in the world is a former Top 10 player. This is the first time in her career that she’s beaten the top seed at a major. This was her fourth win over Pliskova in seven meetings.
Garcia came out of the gates quickly building a 5-0 lead in the first set. Garcia took a break lead in the second set up 4-2 at one point, but Pliskova found her way back into the set to level it at 4-4. Pliskova took a 5-4 lead and had a set point that she could not take advantage of. Into the tiebreak. Garcia won the last five straight points to close out the match 6-1, 7-6 (2).
Garcia had 30 winners to 17 unforced errors, while Pliskova hit 13 winners and 19 unforced errors.
A member of the media questioned Pliskova whether or not her early loss at last week’s tournament or the pressure of being the No. seed affected her.
“I think nothing from what you said. I think was actually not none of those matches which I lost was that bad,” she replied. “I think there are just some girls which are playing good tennis,” Pliskova said.”I think Garcia is one of them.”
“I don’t know if you saw the match, but in the second set I had set point. That was definitely one ball I could make. I had second serve on my forehand.
“Maybe I should just play rally. I tried to go for it. It was a little bit windy on the court. I think she played amazing set and a half. Of course I got my chances later in the second set. I didn’t play good, so that’s it.”
Garcia will play for a spot in the fourth round when she takes on 28th seed Jennifer Brady of the US in the third round.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic dropped the opening set, but controlled the match after with a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Djokovic is on a quest to win his 18th major title and his fourth US Open trophy. His record remains perfect in 2020 at 25-0.
The 33 year-old from Serbia hit 51 winners in the match.
“It was anybody’s game really for a set and a half,” noted Djokovic. “I made some breaks and then obviously after winning the second set I felt more comfortable. I was returning better, I started to read his serve better and I was pleased with my serve. Overall, it was a very good test and I am happy to get through.”
“I thought there’s a lot of positives in the last couple weeks,” Djokovic said. “Had plenty of match play on the court. I competed great, especially in the last couple of matches during the Cincinnati tournament. Those were very important wins I think mentally for me coming into US Open.
“I don’t feel tired. I don’t feel like energy or recovery is going to be an issue or is an issue for me. In contrary, I actually feel very fit. I love playing best-of-five. I like my chances best-of-five on the center court of US Open against anybody in the world.
“Being experienced player and playing on a big stage for so many times, obviously part of the tour for 15 years, helps in these kind of particular situations.
“I’m just going to do what I know works best for me and hope for the best.”
2018 winner Naomi Osaka had an easy 6-1, 6-2 win over Italy’s Camila Giorgi to start the night session.
“I haven’t played her in a while, but I know that she goes for things,” Osaka said. “For me it’s really helpful mentally just because I know she’s capable of finishing points. It gives me motive to, like, play better, so she’s not able to hit winners.”
Asked about whether she can win the tournament, she said: “I stopped thinking about winning. I feel like I put too much pressure on myself. I’m only thinking about putting myself in a good position to win. But I’m taking it match by match.”
After the match ended, the Japanese player had a surprise when her mother appeared on the fan cam to try and speak to her and held up a sign.
Osaka interpreted the sign later on ESPN in an interview saying: “She’s saying, the first one is, ‘Good job,’ and then the second one is, ‘Don’t do Instagram and Twitter and instead go to sleep.’”
“And then the third one is, ‘Drink green juice and get some rest,’ and then the fourth one is, ‘I love you.’”
Unseeded Americans Madison Brengle, Ann Li and Shelby Rogers knocked out seeds to reach the third round of Flushing Meadows.
Madison Brengle stunned No. 19 seed Dayana Yastremska, Rogers stopped No. 11 Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-1 and in a battle of Pennsylvanians, Li stopped No. 13 seed Alison Riske 6-0, 6-3.
The comeback of the day belonged to Varvara Gracheva of Russia, ranked 102 in the world. No. 30 seed Kristina Mladenovic served for the match leading 6-1, 5-1 and lost 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-0.
Mladenovic was one of the players in a bubble in a bubble due to being exposed to fellow countryman Benoit Paire who had tested positive for COVID-19. The Frenchwoman did not have kind words to say after the match.
“It’s definitely the most painful loss I’ve had in my career, I collapsed. Physically and mentally I’m completely drained. It’s just worse and worse. I don’t have comments to make, I just would like to thank USTA for the unreal experience. Yeah I don’t wanna comment.”