No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova was bounced from the U.S. Open on Wednesday by unseeded Caroline Garcia, 6-1, 7-6 (2), in a second-round match.
The women’s draw was diluted by a number of opt-outs, with No. 1 Ash Barty and No. 2 Simona Halep choosing not to travel to New York during the pandemic, as did defending champion Bianca Andreescu. That provided Pliskova, the world’s No-3-ranked player, with a good chance to win her first Grand Slam title.
“I think I didn't play that bad,” Pliskova said. “I thought she played great tennis in the first set. She was just playing super aggressive, going for her shots. I maybe didn't play my best. I didn't serve that great, especially early in the match. But that's how it is sometimes. I'm not a robot, so I don't have to play every day amazing.”
Garcia’s ground game was spot on. The Frenchwoman came up with 30 winners, putting Pliskova on the run from the start. Garcia, currently ranked 50th in the world, was once ranked as high as fourth.
“I was very energized and I really wanted to go out there and give her a battle,” Garcia said. “She gets a lot of confidence from her serve so I really was trying to be focused on the return of serve . . . I won the most important points and was going for my shots.”
Garcia will next meet rising American Jennifer Brady, who beat CC Bellis, 6-1, 6-2.