One of the players who might have been challenged Serena Williams at the U.S. Open ran into a challenge she couldn’t meet Wednesday night.
Garbine Muguruza, the No. 3 seed and the victor over Williams in the final of the French Open this year, went down to Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, 7-5, 6-4, at Ashe Stadium.
Sevastova would seem an unlikely player to be taking a top seed out of the Open. She hasn’t played at Flushing Meadows since 2011. She retired from tennis in 2013 suffering from back injuries, coming back to competition in 2013. She’s proved to be a capable professional, but not one that would make an impact in Grand Slams.
After a hard working first set, Sevastova put the hammer down in the second, earning to service breaks, going up 5-1 and serving for the match. Muguruza broke her twice to make the score 5-4, but then lost her serve and the match.
“I didn’t feel calm inside. I mean, 5-1 . . . Maybe it helped me at 5-4 to break her because I was still leading,” Sevastova said. “But serving out, I don’t know why. There were a couple close calls on the serve and close points. I mean, she was playing better, but still I think I earned [enough] to win that match.”
Muguruza seemed disappointed, not crestfallen, at the loss.
“I think I didn’t play well today. I think she also played well,” she said. “Everything she was doing was kind of working. Maybe at the last part of the match we could feel we can have a chance to come back, but, in fact, was like 50/50. So at the end she played well, and that’s it.”
Madison Keys got her work done early Wednesday night, beating Kayla Day, 6-1, 6-1, in 48 minutes on Armstrong Court in a match that ended at 8:38 p.m.
Keys’ opening match on Ashe Stadium against Alison Riske started on Monday and ended on Tuesday. It finished at 1:48 a.m., the latest finish to a women’s match at the Open in history.