Defending champion Naomi Osaka survived a stumbling block in the opening round by beating Russia’s 20-year-old Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in the US Open. Wimbledon champion Simona Halep also forced to yield a set to American Nicole Gibbs before marking a win 6-3 3-6 6-2. Romanian Halep took a fairly comfortable first set against Gibbs, ranked 135th, but despite holding off six set points, lost her second set.
In a coup, American 15-year-old Coco Gauff beat beat Anastasia Potapova 3-6 6-2 6-4. Osaka was 4-1 down in the opening set before she won five games in a row to take the lead. In a second set riddled with errors, she saw off three sets points and held match point before losing a tie-break. The Japanese world number one, who made 50 unforced errors in the match, fought off three more break points in the decider and will now face Polish world number 53 Magda Linette in round two.