Coco Gauff chose the right word to describe the victory she achieved on the first day of the U.S. Open. The U.S. Open was held on Monday evening.
“Slow,” Gauff told her opponent Laura Siegemund during an on-court interview. She then suppressed her smile and paused to create a dramatic effect. The crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium laughed, which shook her opponent.
Gauff was referring to the slow pace of Siegemund. A 35-year old qualifier from Germany, she took her time between each point and didn’t seem ready to play as the 19-year old Floridan was. Gauff, the sixth seed, could also have been referring her own slow start in the match. She eventually won it 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, and reached the second round of the tournament at Flushing Meadows.
I was very patient throughout the match. She kept going back to the beginning of the match. I never said anything. I would look at her, but she did nothing,” Gauff said, after a long discussion with Marijana Veljovic, the official in charge of the third set. “The crowd noticed that she was taking too long and you could hear them yelling ‘Time’.”
Novak Djokovic, the 23-time Grand Slam winner, made a quick return to the U.S. Open by defeating Alexandre Muller in the final match of the day 6-0, 6-1, 6-3. Djokovic was unable to travel to the United States in 2017 because he had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Siegemund cried at her post-match press conference. She said that the fans had “no respect” for her.
Siegemund said, “I’m very, very dissatisfied (by) how the people treated me today.” Siegemund has won U.S. Open titles for women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. This is something I must say hurts terribly. It’s a fact that I am slow. … I need to be faster. “But at the same time it’s my style of play.”
Siegemund added: “They treated like I was a terrible person.”
In front of ex-President Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle in the crowd, Siegemund dominated Gauff’s first set with a variety of slices and superb volleying.
Gauff, who had already lost two Grand Slam matches in a row — including an early exit from Wimbledon last week — did not want to go quietly this time. She converted her eighth break-point in a 25-plus minute game of 30 points, as thousands of partisan supporters became more vocal.
Gauff stated that it was a huge mental boost. “That game was vital in changing the momentum.”
This put her in the lead for good. Veljovic called Siegemund out for a violation of time in the third set. Brad Gilbert, one of the two coaches who have been working with Gauff recently, was surprised at how long Veljovic took to act. His reaction made Gauff smile.
After serving while leading 3-0, Gauff decided to go over and make her case.
“She is never ready for me to serve.” “How is this fair?” Gauff asked Veljovic. “I’m driving at a normal pace. You can ask any referee here. I have been silent the entire match. It’s now ridiculous. “I don’t really care what she does on her serve but she must be ready for my serve.”
Gauff lost that game. Gauff won 5-1 after Siegemund lost a point due to delaying. This prompted Siegemund, who was booed by the crowd, to make her case against Veljovic. “I can’t throw in the towel any more?”
Gauff had another mishap near the end: she served to win the match in the third set at 5-2, but triple-failed three times. These were the only double faults she made in the 2-hour-51-minute match.
Gauff held on to win her 12th match in 13 since the disappointing performance at the All England Club. The American has won two of her biggest titles in the last few years, including a victory over the No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
Next week, Gauff and Swiatek may meet in the quarterfinals.
Swiatek, who is preparing to defend her U.S. Open crown, won the first match on Monday in Ashe. She needed just 58 minutes for Rebecca Peterson to be defeated 6-0,6-1. But for the rest of the top seeds, it was a tough day.
Holger Rune, ranked No.4, was beaten 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 by Roberto Carballes Baena (ranked 63rd). Holger Rune (No.4) was beaten 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-2 by Roberto Carballes Baena (63rd) and Maria Sakkari, No.8 woman, lost 6-4, 6-4 to Rebeka Masarova (71). Maria Sakkari lost 6-4, 6-1 to Rebeka Mazarova, the 71st ranked woman.
Sakkari later said that she was disturbed by the smell of marijuana.
“The smell. “Oh, my God,” Sakkari said to the chair umpire during the first set. It was weed.
Rune was not happy with the way things went before the match.
The 20-year old, who is considered to be part of the new generation of tennis stars, did not like being told to play on Court 5. He posted a map to the grounds of the tournament to help his fans find it.
Rune later said, “I didn’t think I would be playing on that court.” “It’s obvious that the result is disappointing, but I won’t blame the court for the loss.”