U.S. Open | Tennis

American Rogers defeats number one Barty in shock U.S. Open upset

Shelby Rogers greets Ashleigh Barty at the net after defeating the latter during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis championships on September 4, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

American Shelby Rogers staged a comeback for the ages shocking world number one Ash Barty 6-2 1-6 7-6(5) on September 4 in the third round of the U.S. Open.

The 43rd-ranked Rogers recovered from a 5-2 deficit in the third set to push the affair into a tiebreak, securing the biggest upset of the tournament thus far in front of an electric New York crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I just tried to fight for every point. That’s so cliche, I’m sorry. You guys were awesome. I didn’t want to leave,” said Rogers.

“I just said, you know, make balls, try to stay in this match, can’t get any worse, you lost to her every time. So, try something different.”

There were early signs of trouble for Barty, who handed Rogers a break with four double faults in the third game, and got fewer than half of her first serves in as she committed 17 unforced errors during the first set.

The Wimbledon champion found her form in the second set, getting a critical break in the fourth game with a forehand winner and again converting on break point in the sixth as Rogers whacked the ball into the net.

Up two breaks in the final set, Barty appeared poised to walk away with the win but couldn’t hang on as her stellar 2021 crashed to an end.

An astonished Rogers held her hands to her face as she clinched the match, defeating Barty for the first time in six meetings.

“I was just trying to stay in the point longer than Ash. She was handling my pace really well tonight. I felt like the harder I hit the ball, the better she hit,” said Rogers, the only American woman remaining in the tournament.

It was the second major upset of the women’s tournament at Flushing Meadows, after 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez defeated four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka on September 3.

Rogers will face Britain’s teen phenom Emma Raducanu in the fourth round.

Kvitova ousted

Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari, a French Open semifinalist, ousted two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-3, booking a fourth-round match against 2019 Open winner Bianca Andreescu.

Canadian sixth seed Andreescu improved to 10-0 at the Open, advancing over 104th-ranked Belgian lucky loser Greet Minnen 6-1, 6-2.

Tokyo Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, a 2019 Open semifinalist, defeated US 23rd seed Jessica Pegula 6-2, 6-4.

The Swiss 11th seed will next face Polish seventh seed Iga Swiatek, last year’s French Open champion, who beat Estonian Anett Kontveit 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova, this year’s Wimbledon runner-up and a 2016 U.S. Open finalist, beat Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-2.

Bopanna-Dodig in last 16

In men’s doubles, 14th seeds Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Ivan Dodig advanced to the pre-quarterfinals with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Hugo Nys of Monaco and Arthur Rinderknech of France.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 1:35:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/american-rogers-defeats-number-one-barty-in-shock-us-open-upset/article36300194.ece

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