US Open: Swiatek cruises into second round

IMAGES from Day 2 of the US Open played at Flushing Meadows in New York on Tuesday.

Poland’s Iga Swiatek crushed Italy’s Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-0 to reach the second round of the US Open on Tuesday.

Appearing in New York for the first time as the world’s top ranked player, Swiatek looked the part, reeling off the last seven games to set up a meeting with either Belgium’s Greet Minnen or American Sloane Stephens.

Top seed Swiatek is the favourite to win the year’s final Grand Slam after she dominated the French Open in June and went on a 37-match winning streak that was snapped in the third round of Wimbledon.

But she had looked less impressive in recent outings, going 4-4 in her last eight matches before putting the field on notice on a hot and humid morning at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Alcaraz advances after Baez retires in first round

Third seed Carlos Alcaraz reached the second round of the US Open on Tuesday after an injury forced his Argentine opponent Sebastian Baez to retire when the Spaniard was leading 7-5, 7-5, 2-0 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The pair were evenly matched in the first set with the 19-year-old Alcaraz getting the break in the last game, before hot and humid conditions tested both opponents in the second set.

Alcaraz, who became the youngest man to reach the quarter-final at Flushing Meadows a year ago, was not at his best as he produced 28 unforced errors in the 84-minute set, trading breaks with Baez twice before again getting the pivotal break in the final game.

Baez had a physio tend to his left leg before the third set but was unable to carry on, pulling up short and clutching his thigh as Alcaraz knocked a forehand winner across the net in the second game.

“I think both players and all of you don’t deserve (an end) like this,” Alcaraz told the crowd after the match. “Sebastian is a great player, he fights until the last ball.”

The Roland-Garros quarter-finalist is among the favourites at the year’s final major after picking up titles in Miami and Madrid, and was clearly appreciating his return to New York.

“I remember last year it was one of the best moments of my life,” he said.

“One year later, being four in the world is something special for me.”

Norrie crushes Paire in bizarre opener

Cameron Norrie beat Benoit Paire 6-0, 7-6(1), 6-0 in a strange first-round clash at the US Open on Tuesday, where the Frenchman at times appeared not to be making maximum effort and play was stopped when a fan required medical attention.

The first set was all one-way traffic as the seventh-seeded Briton took advantage of Paire’s errors to bagel him in just 18 minutes.

Paire stepped up his game in the second set when play was briefly halted amid sweltering conditions for the distressed fan, and he even had a chance to level the match when he served leading 5-3.

But the veteran could not capitalise and was broken in the next game and out gunned in the one-sided tiebreak.

The final set lasted just 15 minutes as Paire appeared content to make his exit from the tournament in New York.

Norrie was bounced out of the year’s final Grand slam in the first round last year and has never made it past the third round.

He has, however, enjoyed success on American hardcourts including winning at Indian Wells in 2021 and claiming the Delray Beach title in February.

Norrie, who improved his win-loss record to 42-19 for the year, will next face Portuguese Joao Sousa or American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.

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