Aryna Sabalenka continued her fine run in the summer by stunning American Catherine Harrison of the United States to romp into the second round at the U.S Open on Tuesday.
The hard-hitting Sabalenka, who reached the semifinals at Cincinnati and the US Open last year, got the better of Catherine Harrison, a qualifier ranked 243 in the world and best known for deft doubles play, took the match, 6-1, 6-3 at Court No. 10.
In the first set, the 28-year-old Memphis native Harrison showed some of the tenacity that got her through the qualifiers without dropping a set and, for that matter, the skills she honed at UCLA, where she played alongside teammate Jennifer Brady, according to a report in the official website.
But Harrison found herself hitting defensively, doggedly tracking down Sabalenka's nearly unerring angles. And it was errors made by the favoured player that finally put Harrison on the board at 1-4. But the American couldn't find a way to win her serve and the first set went to Sabalenka, 6-1.
The 5-foot-11 Sabalenka's dominant serve let her down during second set and the players traded breaks. But the stat that tells the story of the match is this one: Harrison hit 12 winners to her opponent's 27. She took the second set, and the match, 6-1, 6-3.
Sabalenka's section of the draw doesn't look like a rough ride: As the No. 6 seed, she's the top-ranked player. But numbers can deceive-and often do. No. 25 seed Elena Rybakina, the reigning Wimbledon champ, is on the road ahead. So is the No. 11 seed-none other than the reigning US Open champ Emma Raducanu.