Ash Barty has overcome a second-set scare against former finalist Vera Zvonareva to safely progress to the second round of the US Open in New York.
- Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic has advanced to the second round with an impressive victory
- Andy Murray took to Twitter to criticise Stefanos Tsitsipas
- Murray had earlier said he “lost respect” for the Greek after their round one US Open match
Barty had to save a set point in the tiebreaker before seeing off the Russian 6-1 7-6 (9-7) in her championship opener at Flushing Meadows.
The world number one blasted 11 aces, including her Tour-topping 300th of the year, and clubbed 31 clean winners to send an ominous warning to her challengers.
It took a malfunction of the electronic line-calling system at Arthur Ashe Stadium, which caused a short stoppage early in the second set, to slow Barty down.
Up a set and a break, the Wimbledon champion dropped serve with a double-fault while trying to close out the match at 5-4 in the second set.
She then had to stave off a set point with a booming forehand winner in the tie break, before holding her nerve to seal victory after one hour and 28 minutes.
Chasing her sixth title of the season, after landing her fifth in the Open lead-up event in Cincinnati, Barty next plays Danish teenager Clara Tauson on Friday for a place in the last 32.
Andy Murray blasts Tsitsipas into orbit with Bezos-themed sledge
Andy Murray has launched a fresh rocket at his US Open conqueror Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday, griping that the Greek player took longer on bathroom breaks than it took billionaire Jeff Bezos to reach outer space.
The Briton was furious when Tsitsipas took a break that ran close to eight minutes during their five-set first-round clash on Monday, which he felt disrupted his game and swayed the outcome.
Murray said after the match — during which Tsitsipas also took a medical time-out for a foot injury — that he had “lost respect” for the Greek world number 3.
Murray the 2012 US Open champion was still seething a day later.
“Fact of the day. It takes Stefanos Tsitsipas twice as long to go the bathroom as it takes Jeff Bezos to fly into space. Interesting,” the 34-year-old Scot tweeted on Tuesday.
Tsitsipas, 23, had pointed out after the match that he had not broken any rules, as there are no time limits on bathroom breaks.
“If there’s something that he has to tell me, we should speak, the two of us, to kind of understand what went wrong,” he said.
Tsitsipas’s younger brother, Petros, responded to Murray’s broadside on Twitter: “Never expected this kind of behaviour, from a supposedly tennis legend!”
Murray had previously called his opponent’s bathroom breaks “nonsense”, saying that he had been warned by his team about such tactics before the match.
During the fifth set, where Murray was broken in the first game, the former world number one could be heard shouting “it is cheating” towards his box.
Tsitsipas took the seven-minute-plus break before the decisive fifth set. He will take on world number 44 Adrian Mannarino of France in the second round on Wednesday.
Tomljanovic charges into second round
Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic wasted little time in booking her place in the second round of the year’s final grand slam.
The 28-year-old Australian — who made her first grand slam quarter-final at Wimbledon — raced past teenaged American wildcard Katie Volynets 6-3, 6-1 in a dominant performance.
Volynets, playing in her first main draw at a slam was no match for the Australian, who was dominant on serve.
Tomljanovic not only never gave up a break point in the victory but she only lost three points for the match on her first serve.
Her reward is a second round encounter with 30th-seeded Croat Petra Martic.
The pair have not played since 2011 but Martic holds a 2-0 head-to-head edge.