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Top seed Pliskova humbled by inspired Garcia at US Open

Reuters/New York
Filed on September 3, 2020
Caroline Garcia of France hits a backhand against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic. (Reuters)

The Czech was helpless in the face of her unseeded opponent's relentless onslaught

Top seed Karolina Pliskova suffered a shock 6-1 7-6(2) loss to Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday to blow the women's draw wide open.

Pliskova, a former world number one, had no answer to Garcia's power and precision as the Frenchwoman raced out of the blocks to open up a 5-0 lead in the opening set.

The Czech was helpless in the face of her unseeded opponent's relentless onslaught and her exit marked the worst performance by a women's top seed in New York since Simona Halep's opening round defeat in 2018.

Pliskova, who was dumped out in the opening round of last week's Western & Southern Open warm-up, fought back in the second set to force a tiebreak but the end result was never in doubt.

"It was very close to going into a third set and I was ready for it. She didn't play badly," said Garcia, who celebrated her victory by running the breadth of the court with her arms outstretched.

"I stuck to my game plan and every point was very important. Now I can take confidence from a good win against a top player."

The women's top seed has not won the title at Flushing Meadows since Serena Williams in 2014 and Garcia ensured the trend continued with a stunning performance.

Garcia will face last month's Lexington champion Jennifer Brady, who beat fellow American Catherine Bellis 6-1 6-2 to advance to the third round.

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