Despite ‘feeling good on the court,’ No. 3 Maria Sakkari ousted during second round of US Open

NEW YORK – The previous two women’s champions had already been eliminated from the US Open and now one of last year’s semifinalists is gone.

Top players fall quickly at Flushing Meadows, and Serena Williams may tumble another Wednesday night.

Hours before Williams faced No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit, third-seeded Maria Sakkari was edged out in the second round by Wang Xiyu of China 3-6 7-5 7-5.

Reaching two Grand Slam semifinals last year, Sakkari has struggled to underpin her success in 2022 and this week acknowledged she was struggling to cope with a higher profile associated with her rise to No. 3 in the rankings accompanied. She said that some days she didn’t like tennis and didn’t even want to get out of bed.

Sakkari said she was happier to get into this tournament but her game just wasn’t good enough against 75th Wang, who advanced to the second round of a Major for the first time.

“It’s disappointing, it hurts because I felt better, I enjoyed myself, I felt good on the pitch and it was just really disappointing that my level was so low today,” Sakkari said.

For Wang, 21, the win was her first career victory over a top 10 player and she is in the third round for the first time in New York.

Sakkari’s defeat came after defending champion Emma Raducanu and two-time winner Naomi Osaka were eliminated in the first round on Tuesday night. That left Bianca Andreescu, who defeated Williams in the 2019 final, as the youngest US Open women’s winner still in the field.

Andreescu met number 15 Beatriz Haddad Maia on Wednesday evening.

Following her run to the Wimbledon final, No. 5 Ons Jabeur achieved her best US Open result with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Elizabeth Mandlik, daughter of 1985 champion Hana Mandlikova. Jabeur lost in the third round in each of her last three trips to New York.

“I have a mission,” Jabeur said. “I’m world No. 5 so for me I’m trying to represent that number as best as I can so I can really improve my game and hopefully continue and improve my ranking.”

She will play against American No. 31 seed Shelby Rogers, who beat Viktoria Kuzmova 7-5, 6-1.

Other top Americans looking to advance Wednesday included No. 12 Coco Gauff and 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys, the No. 20 seed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Despite ‘feeling good on the court,’ No. 3 Maria Sakkari ousted during second round of US Open

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