Muguruza upset by unseeded Pironkova
Sofia Kenin used a mix of power and sharp angles to overwhelm Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 on Thursday
Tsvetana Pironkova, playing in her first event since 2017, claimed one of the shock upsets at the US Open on Thursday by dispatching double Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza 7-5 6-3 to move into the third round at Flushing Meadows.
After three years away from the WTA Tour following the birth of her son Alexander, the unranked Bulgarian had 10th-seeded Muguruza smashing her racket and mumbling in frustration as the Spaniard's US Open jinx continued to haunt her.
The tournament has been a stumbling block for the French Open and Wimbledon champion, who this year nearly added to her collection of major trophies when she reached the final in Australia.
In stark contrast to her success at the other slams, Muguruza has struggled to make an impact on the New York hardcourts.
She had made it past the second round once in seven previous visits to Flushing Meadows and saw her bid end there again.
A 32-year-old Bulgarian, Pironkova left the women's tour to give birth to her son Alexander in April 2018. She is playing in her 12th Open but her first since 2016, and it's her first tournament since Wimbledon in 2017. She finished with an ace for her 22nd victory against a top-20 player.
Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, seeded 27th, beat Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 7-6(8) 6-0 to move into the third round.
Play began in bright sunshine in New York with the temperature hovering around 26 degrees Celsius, with an expected high of 31 degrees.
Meanwhile, Amanda Anisimova won a matchup of American teenagers, rallying past wild card Katrina Scott 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round of the US Open.
The 19-year-old Anisimova, a surprise semifinalist at the French Open last year, steadied her game in the second set and pulled away.
Meanwhile, Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin used a mix of power and sharp angles to overwhelm Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 on Thursday and reach the third round of the US Open.
Second seed Kenin won 76% of her first-serve points and unleashed a barrage of accurate shots from the baseline that were too much to handle for Fernandez.
American Kenin, who never faced a break point during the 81-minute contest, broke Fernandez three times, including in the final game when her opponent double-faulted on match point.
Fernandez made her main draw debut at the U.S. Open this week and entered the match fresh off a win over 2010 New York finalist Vera Zvonareva.
Up next for Kenin, who has never been past the third round in New York, will be Tunisian 27th seed Ons Jabeur, who beat Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 7-6(8) 6-0 earlier on Thursday.
Kenin is the highest seed left in the women's draw after Karolina Pliskova's shock second-round loss on Wednesday.
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