Top-ranked Simona Halep into the second round

Simona Halep, the 2016 U.S. Open champion, moved into the second round on Wednesday, beating Ashleigh Barty 7-6 (5), 6-1. The top-ranked Halep, playing her first tournament of the year after recovering from injuries, rallied after trailing 6-3 in the first set and won the last 11 games.

Barty, 19, entered the match with a 46-6 singles record this year. On a cool and breezy afternoon, she broke Halep three times. But the Romanian broke back and won the tiebreaker.

Barty had hoped to become the second Australian to win a Grand Slam, following Samantha Stosur’s 2010 U.S. Open victory. But Barty couldn’t match the form of Halep, a former world No. 1.

After the match, Barty said she was “shocked” by the defeat, and added, “I don’t know what happened,” saying her first defeat in a Grand Slam in eight years could hurt her.

In other women’s play on Wednesday, 2016 U.S. Open quarterfinalist Johanna Konta lost 6-2, 6-3 to Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova. Konta won her second career Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, after reaching the French Open final last year. Sevastova was a quarterfinalist in the event last year, and had never previously won at Flushing Meadows.

American Venus Williams defeated China’s Wang Qiang 6-4, 7-5.

In men’s play, it was an upset for U.S. Open quarterfinalist Denis Shapovalov, who fell in straight sets to Stefanos Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas, who was playing in his second major, won 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori defeated Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur in four sets and Austria’s Dominic Thiem downed American Taylor Fritz 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Fellow U.S. Open quarterfinalist, Argentine Diego Schwartzman, prevailed 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1 over Canada’s Frank Dancevic. Schwartzman was playing his first match in 11 months.

Lukas Lacko of Slovakia defeated 18-year-old Russian Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

Lacko served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, and even converted on his first match point.

In other men’s matches, eighth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro defeated American Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3; Federico Delbonis of Argentina defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; and Dominic Thiem of Austria beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

Sergio Garcia, a runner-up at last year’s event, won 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7) over Andrey Rublev of Russia.

In women’s matches, 10th-seeded Angelique Kerber beat Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-4, 6-2, and 41st-ranked Shuai Zhang of China outlasted 17th-seeded Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-3.

Kerber, the 2016 runner-up to Halep, looked strong with the retractable roof closed.

In doubles play, Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey and Christina McHale of the United States defeated Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium and Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 7-6 (4), 6-3.

More high-profile matches — including matchups between top-ranked Novak Djokovic and the 11th-seeded Milos Raonic, American Jack Sock and the 15th-seeded Alexander Zverev — are scheduled for Thursday.

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