NEW YORK (Reuters) - Naomi Osaka continued her charge towards a second U.S. Open crown by thrashing Italian Camila Giorgi 6-1 6-2 in the second round on Wednesday, while top seed Karolina Pliskova crashed out following a 6-1 7-6(2) loss to Caroline Garcia.
Osaka, who withdrew from her Western & Southern Open final last week with a left hamstring problem, walked onto the court with her leg wrapped in medical tape but was barely troubled in the lopsided match to set up a meeting with Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk.
Former world number one Pliskova had no answer to Garcia’s power and precision and her exit marked the worst display by a women’s top seed in the tournament since Simona Halep’s first round defeat in 2018.
Novak Djokovic brushed aside Briton Kyle Edmund 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4 6-2 after a slow start to improve his match record in 2020 to 25-0 and move into the third round on a hot, humid day at Flushing Meadows.
It stands as the second best start to a season since the world number one Serb, who is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title, went 41-0 in 2011.
Also advancing was fifth seed Alexander Zverev, who overcame American wildcard Brandon Nakashima to seal a 7-5 6-7(8) 6-3 6-1 victory while Canada’s Denis Shapovalov beat Kwon Soon-woo 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 6-2.
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas got past Maxime Cressy in a late match, beating the American 7-6(2) 6-3 6-4.
Petra Kvitova overcame a bout of nerves and a rocky start to defeat Kateryna Kozlova 7-6(3) 6-2 while former winner Angelique Kerber downed German compatriot Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3 7-6(6).
Highlights of the third day at the U.S. Open in New York on Wednesday. The Grand Slam is being played without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Times ET; GMT-4):
2320 TSITSIPAS TOO GOOD FOR CRESSY
Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas powered past Maxime Cressy in a late encounter, beating the American 7-6(2) 6-3 6-4. He will take on Croatian 27th seed Borna Coric next.
2204 SHAPOVALOV FINDS GROOVE TO DOWN KWON
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, seeded 12th, surrendered the opening set against Kwon Soon-woo before blasting past the South Korean 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 6-2 to move into the third round, where he will take on local hope Taylor Fritz.
Also advancing was 27th seed Borna Coric who overcame a mid-match blip to beat Juan Ignacio Londero 7-5 4-6 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3.
2030 OSAKA BREEZES PAST GIORGI
Fourth seed Naomi Osaka, the 2018 champion, made light work of Italian Camila Giorgi to reach the third round with a 6-1 6-2 victory.
1810 GARCIA STUNS TOP SEED PLISKOVA
Czech top seed Karolina Pliskova struggled to find her service rhythm in a shock 6-1 7-6(2) defeat by Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.
Kazakhstan youngster Elena Rybakina, seeded 11th, also failed to clear the second round hurdle, losing 7-5 6-1 to American Shelby Rogers.
1750 LOCAL HOPE RISKE SUFFERS EARLY EXIT
American Alison Riske, seeded 13th, was stunned by compatriot Ann Li in a 6-0 6-3 second-round defeat.
1740 DJOKOVIC BATTLES PAST EDMUND
World number one Novak Djokovic overcame a sloppy start to beat Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4 6-2, extending his winning streak to 25 matches in 2020.
1610 ZVEREV OVERCOMES TEENAGER NAKASHIMA
Fifth seed Alexander Zverev was stretched to four sets in a 7-5 6-7(8) 6-3 6-1 second-round win over American teenager Brandon Nakashima.
Germany’s Zverev, whose serve was unbroken in the match, smashed 24 aces past the 19-year-old Nakashima in a hard-fought victory.
1405 KVITOVA EASES INTO ROUND THREE
Czech sixth seed Petra Kvitova struck 33 winners in a dominant display to dispatch Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova 7-6(3) 6-2.
1345 MLADENOVIC SUFFERS SHOCK EXIT
France’s Kristina Mladenovic, seeded 30th, failed to convert four match points as she was stunned by Russian youngster Varvara Gracheva 1-6 7-6(2) 6-0 in the second round.
1255 KONTAVEIT ADVANCES IN STRAIGHT SETS
Estonia’s 14th seed Anett Kontaveit comfortably beat Kaja Juvan 6-4 6-1 in the second round.
Kontaveit hit 25 winners and won 21 points at the net against her Slovenian opponent.
1250 VONDROUSOVA OUT, KERBER THROUGH
Aliaksandra Sasnovich caused an upset in the women’s draw when she knocked out the Czech Republic’s 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-2 in the second round.
Sasnovich saved six break points and converted four to finish the match in 65 minutes.
In the battle of the two Germans, 17th seed Angelique Kerber beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3 7-6(6) to move into round three.
1110 PLAY UNDERWAY AT FLUSHING MEADOWS
Play began in overcast conditions in New York with the temperature hovering around 24 degrees Celsius (75.2°F). Rain is expected in the afternoon.
Reporting by Rohith Nair, Hardik Vyas and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Richard Pullin
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.