US Open: Karolina Pliskova crashes out in Round 2

France's Caroline Garcia produced the biggest upset of the US Open on Wednesday, sending top seed Karolina Pliskova tumbling out of the tournament.

Garcia, the World No. 50, scored one of the biggest wins of her career with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) second-round victory at Louis Armstrong Stadium. Garcia's 1hr 33min victory sends her into a third round meeting on Friday with American 28th seed Jennifer Brady.

Attacking strategy

Garcia—whose talent propelled her to fourth in the world rankings in September 2018 before a protracted slump sent her sliding down the standings in 2019—attacked Pliskova from the outset. She raced into a 5-0 lead after scoring two early service breaks before taking the first set. Although Pliskova improved in the second, she was unable to find the crucial service break when it mattered, and was unable to convert a set point in the second to level the match.

In the tie break, Garcia raced into a 6-2 lead and then completed victory when Pliskova hit a return into the net. "I knew I was capable of causing problems for her," Garcia said. "I took my chances. When she came in the second set, there wasn't much more I could do. So I had to keep calm and just play it point-by-point."

France’s Caroline Garcia celebrates her win over Karolina Pliskova
France's Caroline Garcia celebrates her win over Karolina Pliskova

It was a disappointing exit for Pliskova, who had been elevated to No. 1 seed after a slew of high-ranking player withdrawals due to the Coronavirus. "I thought she played great tennis in the first set. She was just playing super aggressive, going for her shots," Pliskova said.

"I maybe didn't play my best. But that's how it is sometimes. I'm not a robot, so I don't have to play every day amazing."

Easy win for Osaka

While Pliskova fell by the wayside, there were no such problems for fourth seed Naomi Osaka of Japan, the 2018 champion. Osaka, 22, dominated hard-hitting Italian opponent Camila Giorgi in an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 victory. "Even if I play a power player, for me, my goal is to be the dictator," Osaka said.

Other key results from day three

Men's singles

£ Alexander Zverev bt Brandon Nakashima 7-5, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3, 6-1
£ Denis Shapovalov bt Kwon Soon-woo 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
£ David Goffin bt Lloyd Harris 7-6 (8/6), 4-6,
6-1, 6-4

Women's singles

£ Petra Kvitova bt Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (7/3), 6-2
£ Angelique Kerber bt Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3, 7-6 (8/6)
£ Petra Martic bt Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-4
£ Varvara Gracheva bt Kristina Mladenovic 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-0

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