US Open 2nd round: Shocks galore on day one as seeds exit early
On a turbulent opening day of the 2015 US Open in both the Men and Women’s singles draws, in which a number of seeds fell at the first hurdle, respective title favourites with Coral Novak Djokovic (evens) and Serena Williams (4/5) came through with ease.
Seeded stars such as Kei Nishikori and Gael Monfils in the Men’s section, and women Sloane Stephens, Karolína Pliskova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and former winner Svetlana Kuznetsova all exited early.
British hope Heather Watson, meanwhile, was also knocked out in the first round, as she is still yet to win a match in five attempts at Flushing Meadows after going down to American Lauren Davis 7-6 7-6.
Rafael Nadal, though, gained a confidence-boosting victory over rising Croatian star Borna Coric in a potentially tricky tie in four sets. The Spaniard, who is a double US Open champion (20/1 to reclaim the title) now faces diminutive Argentine Diego Schwartzman, and is the heavy odds-on favourite at 1/20 to beat him.
For a more enticing bet to take, Nadal has odds of 11/4 to win 3-1 again, while Schwartzman is 8/1 to cause a shock and reach round three.
Djokovic (heavy 1/200 odds-on match favourite) tackles Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer (20/1), who is aiming for his first third round Grand Slam appearances, up next.
Marin Cilic (1/8), meanwhile, continues his title defence against Evgeny Donskoy, after beating another qualifier Guido Pella (9/2) in straight sets in his opener.
Other top seeds in the Men’s draw such as Milos Raonic (1/3), David Ferrer (1/7), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1/14) and Grigor Dimitrov (1/7) feature on day three. They face respective opponents Fernando Verdasco (9/4), Filip Krajinovic (4/1), Marcel Granollers (13/2) and Mikhail Kukushkin (4/1).
In the Women’s draw, Serena (1/100) continues her defence and search of the Grand Slam (winnings all four majors in the same calendar year) against Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens (14/1), after knocking out Vitalia Diatchenko.
Eugenie Bouchard avoided another early Grand Slam defeat this year as she beat Alison Riske in two sets. The Canadian (4/6) has set up a meeting with Polona Hercog (11/10).
Seeded stars such as starlet Belinda Bencic (1/6), Venus Williams (1/4), Ekaterina Makarova (1/6) and Agnieszka Radwanska (1/20), meanwhile, duel with Misaki Doi (7/2), Irina Falconi (11/4), Watson’s conqueror Davis (7/2) and Magda Linette (8/1) respectively.