We have already seen a top-ten-seeded player fall on Day 1 of the 2023 US Open. Maria Sakkari, who has struggled with her game a bit lately, went down in straight sets. Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek destroyed her opponent, and Dominic Thiem looked very sharp in his upset of 25th-seed Alexander Bublik.
Swiatek basically had the day off against Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson. The top-ranked women’s player won her match 6-0 6-1. Swiatek wasn’t broken and faced just 3 break points. Peterson won just 22 of a total 73 points while Swiatek won 51 of 73. And Peterson won only 7 of her 21 first-serve points. Ouch.
Thiem has looked better as the year has gone on after dealing with lots of injuries over the last few calendar years. But while Thiem struck the ball well and would have beaten most of the players on tour as well as he played Monday, it was really Bublik who beat himself almost as much. Bublik had 17 double faults. Oddly enough, when he did land his first serve it worked fairly well. But he had zero consistency.
US Open: One top-ten seed goes down on Day 1
Thiem was able to break Bublik six times and was able to take 14 of 28 second serve points from Bublik. Basically, Bublik would have lost to almost anyone he played even if he had been on the court by himself. He’s weird with his serve anyway, but he was atrocious Monday.
Since losing to Coco Gauff in the finals of the Citi Open earlier in August, Maria Sakkari has gone 1-3, including her loss to Rebeka Masarova at the US Open. Masarova isn’t a bad player, of course, as she has ranked as high as 66 on the WTA tour, but Sakkari’s inconsistency has hurt her more than her opponents recently.
Masarova broke Sakkari three times and had 4 aces. She simply outplayed Sakkari. Sakkari wasn’t really given a chance to win the US Open by most pundits, but she was expected to make it at least past the first round.
Still to play on Monday is second-seeded men’s player Novak Djokovic. He will play Alexandre Muller. Djokovic is almost certain to win, but Muller has an interesting story as he has to take constant injections to help battle Crohn’s disease.