Kobe Bryant believes avoiding off-court distractions will be crucial for Coco Gauff after the teenager's stunning start to her career.

Gauff reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, beating her idol Venus Williams on day one of the tournament, before losing to Simona Halep.

She came back from a set down to defeat Anastasia Potapova in the first round at the US Open and was heading into a clash with Timea Babos on Thursday.

The expectations around the 15-year-old will only continue to rise and five-time NBA champion Bryant, who entered the league as an 18-year-old straight out of high school, expects her biggest challenges to come off the court.

"It's amazing at that age, not just the skill set she possesses, but dropping the first set [against Potapova], able to maintain her cool, maintain her composure, not get rattled, she goes out and performs," Bryant said at Flushing Meadows, where he was planning to take in Gauff's second-round clash.

"It's very, very rare to find an athlete at that age to be so trusting of your skill and be patient. She's a phenomenon for sure.

"It's the things that come along with the success at an early age, more commitments, more responsibilities, more opportunities, especially off the court. But you have to pick and choose and weave the way through that, so none of those things get in the way of her continuing to develop as an athlete.

"The hardest thing is knowing what to say no to, so that it doesn't compromise her progress as a player."

Serena Williams admitted she would rather not be tested in every match at the US Open after a "really rough, rowdy" win over Caty McNally on Wednesday.

The 23-time grand slam champion enjoyed a serene start at Flushing Meadows this year, easing past 2006 champion Maria Sharapova, but found life tougher against teenager McNally.

Errors dogged Williams as she dropped the first set and had to respond strongly to advance to the third round with a 5-7 6-3 6-1 victory.

The 37-year-old acknowledged the need to come through difficult matches such as this one but hoped she would not need to dig quite so deep every time during her bid for glory in New York.

"I think it's great because I want to be able to win matches where I'm not playing my best, play players who are playing great, be able to come through," she told a news conference.

"I need to be tested, I guess. That sounds scripted - actually, I'd rather not be tested in every match.

"But that doesn't happen, so it's important for me to have those really rough, rowdy matches. That helps a lot."

Williams suggested the victory over McNally was the type of win she would later be able to reflect on with greater positivity.

"Obviously I would be lying if I said I enjoy the tough matches more," she said. "But I think looking back years later, I enjoy the tough matches more.

"In the moment, in the weeks after, it's definitely a different feeling."

McNally won the girls' doubles title alongside Coco Gauff at the US Open last year and was delighted with the way she dealt with the step up in quality and experience against Williams.

"I think it just shows that I'm capable of playing with the best," the 17-year-old said. "I got a set off Serena Williams. I had her close in the second set, too, had some chances.

"For me, it just gives me a lot of confidence, shows me that I can compete out on the biggest stages. I'll just keep my head down, I'm ready to go back to work."

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic encountered different issues on their way to the US Open third round on a rain-hit Wednesday.

Only four men's singles matches were completed – and there was a withdrawal – as the weather caused problems in New York.

Still, Federer and Djokovic managed to get through their second-round matches, but it was not easy.

 

FEDERER RUSTY AGAIN

Federer made another slow start before getting past Damir Dzumhur 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.

The Swiss 20-time grand slam champion lost the opening set, as he did against Sumit Nagal in the first round, on the back of 17 unforced errors.

Federer again managed to recover, the five-time champion at Flushing Meadows progressing after two hours, 22 minutes.

INJURY WORRY FOR DJOKOVIC

Djokovic, meanwhile, claimed a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 victory over Juan Ignacio Londero, but had problems of his own.

The Serbian defending champion needed treatment on his left shoulder during his win as he was pushed in the opening two sets.

While forced to come from behind in each of the first two sets, Djokovic dealt with the shoulder issue to move through.

NISHIKORI, DIMITROV INTO THIRD ROUND

Kei Nishikori, the 2014 runner-up, battled through thanks to a 6-2 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over Bradley Klahn.

The Japanese seventh seed was one of five men to advance, with Grigor Dimitrov joining him.

Dimitrov was scheduled to face Borna Coric, but the Croatian 12th seed withdrew due to a lower back strain.

The final man to advance was Dominik Koepfer, who got past Reilly Opelka 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Serena Williams moved through at the US Open but sister Venus was sent packing as rain wreaked havoc in New York.

Only five women's singles matches were completed at Flushing Meadows, where poor weather conditions prevented play on uncovered outside courts.

Former world number one and 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams took to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday night and survived a scare.

Venus could not make it two from two for the Williams family, while second seed Ashleigh Barty advanced to the third round.

 

SERENA SEES OFF MCNALLY

Six-time US Open champion Serena Williams rallied to beat countrywoman Caty McNally 5-7 6-3 6-1.

Williams dropped the first set against her 17-year-old opponent, but the eighth seed eventually improved to 19-0 in the US Open second round.

The 37-year-old American superstar hit 32 winners and 10 aces, while winning 81 per cent of her first serves.

 

SVITOLINA VANQUISHES VENUS

Elina Svitolina booked her spot in the US Open third round for the fifth successive year after defeating Venus Williams 6-4 6-4.

Svitolina – the fifth seed – needed almost two hours to see off Williams in a second-round blockbuster.

Seven-time grand slam champion and 39-year-old Williams was asked about her future and plans for the remainder of the year.

"I mean, [it] was a great match. It was well-contested and it was great to have the crowd behind me," she told reporters. "It was just a really magical atmosphere.

"I did a lot of things right today. A lot of great things to build on. I missed Asia the last couple of years, so I'd love to head on over and play some more matches."

 

BARTY WINS AS KEYS HITS RIGHT NOTES

French Open winner Barty beat a brave Lauren Davis 6-2 7-6 (7-2) under the Louis Armstrong Stadium lights.

Madison Keys equalled her career-best winning streak by topping Zhu Lin 6-4 6-1 in the second round.

Runner-up in 2017, Keys made it eight consecutive victories after claiming her fifth WTA title at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, third seed and 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova eased past qualifier Mariam Bolkvadze 6-1 6-4.

Novak Djokovic revealed he did not know if he would be able to finish his second-round match against Juan Ignacio Londero as the defending champion overcame a shoulder injury to advance at the US Open.

World number one Djokovic pushed past the pain to outlast Londero 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.

Djokovic survived a huge test against Londero, while the 16-time grand slam champion required treatment on his left shoulder during the clash on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 32-year-old needed work on his shoulder in the first set, with the issue clearly bothering the Serbian star in New York, where countryman Dusan Lajovic or Denis Kudla await in the next round.

Djokovic was late to his post-match news conference and he told reporters: "I had to take time to address the injury that I have. It has caused hindrance to my game for sure tonight, especially with the serve and backhand. It was not easy to play with this kind of sensation, to be honest. I did not experience that too many times in my career.

"I was also lucky to find my way back in the second set and to win in the straight sets. I had obviously, you saw, a medical timeout. At changeovers, I tried to use within the rules as much as I can physiotherapy and medical help. That has definitely helped me stay in the match.

"The way it has started for me, especially midway through the first set, I didn't know if I would be able to finish the match. I'm really glad I have.

"I'm going to assess this injury tomorrow [Thursday] even more with further consultations with experts in sports medicine. I'm hoping that in two days' time I will be able to play pain-free, if that is possible."

Djokovic added: "It is new in a sense that I've never had that particular issue in my career. It's not new in a sense that it has bothered me now for almost a couple of weeks. It has been there. I've been experiencing some days of higher intensity of pain, some days less. It has been really fluctuating a lot, going up and down.

"What happened today on the court, actually how I felt, was quite rough and unpredictable. But, as I said on the court, you have to deal with this particular situation the way it is.

"I did have not too many times in my career, but I did have certain situations where I had to, as probably anybody else in professional tennis, go through pain and just figure out the way I can finish the match and hopefully win. I got myself that win.=

"Good thing about grand slams is you have a day off in between the matches. As I said, I'm hoping that with a proper medical help and treatments, I'll be able to get myself in a better state than I was today in a few days."

Serena Williams survived a scare before getting past Caty McNally in the US Open second round on Wednesday.

Williams struggled to find her best form against the 17-year-old American before steadying to claim a 5-7 6-3 6-1 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 23-time grand slam champion, who has never lost in the US Open second round, eventually powered through the final set against McNally, dropping just five points.

Williams will face either Hsieh Su-wei or Karolina Muchova in the third round after surviving the McNally test.

Prepared to vary her game, McNally matched it with Williams throughout the opening set.

So impressive in a thrashing of Maria Sharapova, Williams struggled to find the same form and dropped serve in the 11th game, a huge forehand return helping McNally take a 6-5 lead.

McNally then came from 0-40 down when serving for the opening set, which the teenager clinched with a huge serve.

After an even start to the second set, Williams broke in the sixth game with a forehand return winner, although she was challenged before consolidating for 5-2.

Williams seemed to be settling and levelled the match with a huge ace and a volley winner from 30-30 in the ninth game.

And, Williams quickly struck in the third set, breaking to love in the opening game after another big forehand return.

She won 16 of the first 17 points of the final set, setting up a huge lead to power through.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Serena Williams [8] bt Caty McNally 5-7 6-3 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 32/28
McNally – 16/30

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Williams – 10/4
McNally – 8/10

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 4/12
McNally – 1/1

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 63
McNally – 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 81/61
McNally – 62/44

TOTAL POINTS
Williams – 98
McNally – 73

Novak Djokovic shrugged off a shoulder injury to beat Juan Ignacio Londero in the US Open second round on Wednesday.

The world number one and defending champion needed treatment on his left shoulder during a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Djokovic fell behind in the opening two sets before proving too good for Londero, maintaining his record of having never been eliminated before the third round at Flushing Meadows.

The 16-time grand slam champion will face either Dusan Lajovic or Denis Kudla in the third round.

Londero matched it with Djokovic from the baseline early and grabbed a surprise break in the fifth game when the Serbian challenged incorrectly mid-point.

However, he failed to consolidate, Djokovic – bothered by a left shoulder injury – needing six break points to get back on level terms.

Djokovic required treatment on his shoulder at 4-3 before taking the opening set, playing characteristically brilliant defence as Londero netted a forehand in the 10th game.

A double fault gifted Londero a break to begin the second set as he took a 3-0 lead on the back of winning 12 of the first 15 points.

However, Djokovic responded again, winning five consecutive games before needing a tie-break to claim the second set.

The pair traded breaks to begin the third before Djokovic powered away to win in two hours, 15 minutes.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Novak Djokovic [1] bt Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 35/35
Londero – 24/43

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 7/8
Londero – 6/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 8/17
Londero – 5/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic – 51
Londero – 62

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic – 71/48
Londero – 49/46

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic – 102
Londero – 82

Ashleigh Barty moved through to the US Open third round after outlasting Lauren Davis in straight sets in New York.

French Open winner Barty – the second seed – was pushed in a hard-fought 6-2 7-6 (7-2) victory at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.

Barty rallied from 4-2 down in the second set before prevailing in a tie-break to set up a clash with either 30th seed Maria Sakkari or Peng Shuai in round three.

The Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd was treated to a high-quality affair as Barty and Davis went toe-to-toe under the lights – the baseline rallies tense and fierce.

Davis broke back immediately after falling 2-0 behind early, however the American – with her left leg heavily strapped – was unable to fend off a fourth break point in the fourth game as she eventually found herself 4-1 down.

Barty wrapped up the 47-minute first set on the racquet of Davis, who – while only having one more unforced error than the former – managed just three winners compared to 13.

Davis refused to be overawed in the second set, with the 25-year-old's continued aggression helping her keep pace before breaking and consolidating for a 4-2 advantage.

Barty was kept pressed behind the baseline in the sixth game as she hit the net on three occasions – wasting a pair of break points.

Davis played well in the second set and while she failed to serve it out at 5-4 as Barty won four of six games, she saved three match points to force a tie-break.

However, that was as good as it got for Davis, who was unable to maintain her charge as she was swept aside in the tie-break.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Ashleigh Barty [2] bt Lauren Davis 6-2 7-6 (7-2)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty – 35/39
Davis –  13/34

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty – 8/2
Davis – 1/6

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 4/18
Davis – 2/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Barty – 54
Davis – 63

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Barty – 76/52
Davis – 54/47

TOTAL POINTS
Barty – 94
Davis – 77

Rain will prevent any further play on uncovered outside courts at the US Open on Wednesday, tournament organisers have confirmed.

Poor weather conditions in New York meant action had to be paused midway through the day.

Serena Williams will still take to the covered Arthur Ashe Stadium to face Caty McNally after Novak Djokovic meets Juan Ignacio Londero.

Number two seed Ashleigh Barty will also be in action against American Lauren Davis at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Earlier in the day, Roger Federer moved into the third round by beating Damir Dzumhur on Arthur Ashe.

As he did in the first round against Sumit Nagal, Federer dropped the first set but raised his game to come through.

Roger Federer said he can only get better as the 20-time grand slam champion sent a warning to the rest of the US Open field heading into the third round.

Former world number one and third seed Federer came from a set down for the second match in succession to prevail 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 against Damir Dzumhur at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.

Federer has been far from convincing during the first week in New York, where the five-time US Open champion was uncharacteristically wasteful in his first-round victory over grand slam main draw debutant Sumit Nagal.

Runner-up to Novak Djokovic in a remarkable Wimbledon final before suffering a swift exit from the Western & Southern Open, Federer committed 45 unforced errors against Dzumhur.

Asked about his slow starts at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Federer – who is eyeing his first US Open title since 2008 – told reporters: "I have been in that position many times where you go through a little phase where you don't start so well and everybody asks you right away, 'What are you going to do?'

"You're like, 'I don't know. Just go back to the drawing board. Just do the same things again.' You hope for a better outcome.

"I don't think there is per se a secret to a good start other than warming up well, being well-prepared mentally, not underestimating your opponent. I did all of that. You know me, I will always do that.

"So when it happens like this in back-to-back matches it's just a bit frustrating more than anything, especially when the level is that low and there is that many errors and the energy is not kind of there. But I can only do better, which is a great thing moving forward."

"I got exactly what I expected from both guys," Federer said when asked if he was surprised in the opening two rounds. "I knew what Nagal was going to give me. I knew what Dzumhur was going to give me. But I didn't expect to hit 15 to 20 unforced errors, which is basically the entire set just sort of donated.

"But look, they came out and they were well prepared and got me to do that. But I clearly have to play better from the get-go."

Federer will meet either Dan Evans or 25th seed Lucas Pouille for a place in the last 16.

Roger Federer had to come from a set down once again as he progressed into round three of the US Open with a 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 win over Damir Dzumhur.

Federer went behind to Sumit Nagal in his first-round match and suffered a similarly slow start in Wednesday's contest on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

But, much like in round one, the five-time Flushing Meadows champion - who made 45 unforced errors - found his form and once he nosed ahead in his 100th US Open match he never looked like slipping up.

The world number three was not handed it on a plate and although Dzumhur kept himself in it with some fine shots in the final set, Federer served out the win with the first match point on offer.

Dzumhur raced out of the blocks and stormed into a 4-0 lead after a second successive break.

Federer returned the favour in game five, but Dzumhur recovered from 30-0 down on his next service game - a sensational backhand slice forcing the former world number one to serve to stay in the set.

Federer did so successfully, but his opponent had his tail up and seized a one-set lead with just 29 minutes on the clock.

Another unforced error from the third seed handed Dzumhur a break point in the first game of set two, but the 27-year-old could not take his chance.

Federer made no such mistake, catching the Bosnian cold with a slick forehand down the line before executing a perfect drop shot en route to restoring parity.

A stunning cross-court backhand indicated Federer had hit his stride and the 38-year-old did well to save three break points for a 5-2 lead in the third.

With Dzumhur receiving treatment for an apparent side issue during changeovers, the Swiss closed out the set in his favour on his next serve.

Dzumhur's frustration at conceding his advantage started to show in set four, with a sloppy serve handing the 20-time grand slam champion a break in game three.

The finish line was in sight and Federer did not look back, finally breaking Dzumhur's resolve to set up a third-round clash with either Dan Evans or Lucas Pouille.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [3] bt Damir Dzumhur 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 58/45
Dzumhur – 26/40

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 16/4
Dzumhur – 2/8

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 5/9
Dzumhur – 2/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 69
Dzumhur – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 77/43
Dzumhur – 64/51

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 126
Dzumhur – 110

Nick Kyrgios backtracked on his claim the ATP is "corrupt" but criticised the organisation for what he believes are "double standards".

Krygios is no stranger to controversy and caused a stir on Tuesday when - after his straight-sets win over Steve Johnson in round one of the US Open - he hit out at the governing body in his news conference.

Having been asked about a $113,000 (£93,254) fine he received for an on-court outburst at the Western and Southern Open earlier in August, the 24-year-old said: "[The] ATP's pretty corrupt anyway, so I'm not fussed about it at all."

The Australian was handed the fine for smashing two rackets and verbally abusing umpire Fergus Murphy.

World number 30 Krygios has since clarified his comments, alleging other players escape unpunished for similar behaviour.

"I would like to go on record and clarify my comment around the ATP being corrupt," Krygios posted on Twitter.

"It was not correct and the intention was to address what I see as double standards rather than corruption.

"I know my behaviour at times has been controversial and that has landed me in trouble, which at times is granted and valid but my issue is around others whether gaining the same, less or more media attention doing the same or similar behaviour and not being sanctioned.

"To be clear I know I'm not perfect and do not pretend to be and I acknowledge I've deserved fines and sanctioning at times but I expect consistency and fairness with this across the board, to date that's not happened.

"I've had huge support from [ATP chairman] Chris Kermode and have given it in return, so I want to clarify my comments but stand by my beliefs and sentiment around double standards."

The ATP confirmed Kyrgios' comments in Tuesday's news conference would be investigated.

A statement issued to Omnisport read: "The comments made by Nick Kyrgios after his first-round match in New York will be assessed under the Player Major Offense provision under ATP Rules. 

"A determination will be made by Gayle David Bradshaw, executive vice president, rules & competition, following an investigation as required by ATP rules."

Alexander Zverev survived and Rafael Nadal cruised as four top-10 seeds incredibly suffered losses in the US Open first round on Tuesday.

Zverev looked like potentially joining the list of casualties before edging past Radu Albot in five sets at Flushing Meadows.

Nadal, meanwhile, never looked in trouble as he retained his perfect record in the opening round in New York.

However, top-10 seeds did fall as Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roberto Bautista Agut and Karen Khachanov made first-round exits.

 

ZVEREV EDGES THROUGH

A two-time French Open quarter-finalist, Zverev's record at grand slams has been questioned and it seemed set to be a talking point again.

But, the German sixth seed managed to get past Albot 6-1 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-2 after three hours, 10 minutes.

Zverev has never been beyond the third round at the year's final major and while the draw opened up on Tuesday, he faces a tough second-round match.

The 22-year-old will meet Frances Tiafoe, who led Ivo Karlovic 6-2 6-3 1-2 when the Croatian retired.

 

NADAL UNTROUBLED

Nadal, an 18-time grand slam champion, eased past John Millman 6-3 6-2 6-2 to improve to 15-0 in the first round at the US Open.

The Spaniard was relentless and consistent, eventually converting five of 15 break points in a comfortable win.

Nadal will face another Australian, Thanasi Kokkinakis, after the 23-year-old claimed his first main-draw win at a major since 2015 by beating Ilya Ivashka 6-3 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

SEEDS FALL

The fourth-seeded Thiem was not at full fitness as the Austrian bowed out to Thomas Fabbiano 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Thiem and Tsitsipas made first-round exits at Wimbledon and the US Open, the Greek going down to another young star in Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

Khachanov and Bautista Agut, the ninth and 10th seeds respectively, suffered shock losses.

Vasek Pospisil upset Khachanov 4-6 7-5 7-5 4-6 6-3, while Mikhail Kukushkin beat Bautista Agut 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Meanwhile, 2014 champion Marin Cilic progressed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was beaten and Nick Kyrgios advanced in straight sets.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka was forced to dig deep in her first-round match, while former winner Sloane Stephens was a surprise casualty in New York.

Returning to the scene of her maiden grand slam title, world number one Osaka outlasted Anna Blinkova in three sets on Tuesday.

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, former world number one Caroline Wozniacki and 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff also reached round two, but Stephens headlined the exits.

 

OSAKA OVERCOMES NERVES IN NEW YORK OPENER

Top seed Osaka edged unseeded opponent Blinkova 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in an unconvincing display at Flushing Meadows.

Osaka was not at her best, tallying 50 unforced errors, but the two-time grand slam champion still managed to book a second-round date with Magda Linette.

"I don't think I've ever been so nervous in my life," Osaka said during her on-court interview. "I don't think I ever really found my rhythm, but I just fought as hard as I can."

 

HALEP HANDLES LUCKY LOSER

Romanian star and fourth seed Halep prevailed 6-3 3-6 6-2 against lucky loser Nicole Gibbs.

Halep produced when it mattered most as she avoided becoming only the second player in the Open Era to follow up victory at Wimbledon with a first-round loss in New York.

Next up for Halep is qualifier Taylor Townsend, who rallied past Kateryna Kozlova 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Wozniacki, meanwhile, came from a set down to see off Wang Yafan 1-6 7-5 6-3 in an opening-round scare.

Runner-up in 2009 and 2014, 19th seed Wozniacki meets Danielle Collins in the second round after the 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist defeated Polona Hercog 6-3 4-6 6-4.

 

GAUFF'S STAR CONTINUES TO SHINE

The fairytale story of Wimbledon, Gauff fought past fellow teenager Anastasia Potapova 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Gauff rose to stardom at Wimbledon earlier this year, making the fourth round at the All England Club.

The American sensation emerged triumphant in her main-draw debut at her home major on Tuesday thanks to seven breaks of serve.

"It was crazy," said Gauff, who will play qualifier Timea Babos after 28th seed Carla Suarez Navarro retired at the end of the first set. "Obviously I was nervous going out on the court. It's such a big court. Then my home slam, so I wanted to do well. The crowd really helped me the whole match. Like, it was really a great atmosphere to play in and a great experience for me."

 

KALINSKAYA SLAYS SLOANE

There was a major upset in New York, where 2017 champion Stephens was sensationally eliminated 6-3 6-4 by qualifier Anna Kalinskaya.

Stephens hoped to enjoy another deep run at Flushing Meadows after reuniting with long-time coach Kamau Murray but Kalinskaya had other plans for the 11th seed.

Two-time grand slam winner and 24th seed Garbine Muguruza also fell at the first hurdle, knocked out 2-6 6-1 6-3 by Alison Riske.

Svetlana Kuznetsova – the 2004 champion – went down 7-5 6-2 to Kristie Ahn, while two-time finalist and former world number one Victoria Azarenka lost 3-6 6-3 6-4 to ninth seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Rafael Nadal revealed he had offered his boat to Andy Murray while the Brit plays at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Mallorca.

Murray's singles comeback is gathering pace and he moved into the last 16 at the Rafa Nadal Open on Tuesday.

Nadal, meanwhile, eased past John Millman to improve to 15-0 in first-round matches at the US Open.

The Spaniard said he had been in touch with Murray to offer any help, and the use of his boat, while he plays in Mallorca.

"I think he used it already in the past, no? I just text him when I knew that he was going to play at the academy," Nadal told a news conference.

"I just text him a couple of days ago saying, 'if you need anything, just let me know. You want to go out with the boat or anything, I can help you, just let me know'.

"For us in the academy, it is great news that he's there, of course. I saw the court yesterday where he was playing, it was full crowded. I think it's great for him, great for us.

"For me personally, as I said a couple of times, happy for him. Honestly he did a lot of things to try to be back on court and keep playing tennis.

"The decision to go and play a Challenger is because he feels well, my feeling, the way that I see it. If you don't feel it very well, you play normal tour and just let's see how it goes.

"If one player like Andy is able to go and play a Challenger it's because physically he feels well and he wants to play matches."

Nadal crushed Millman 6-3 6-2 6-2 in the US Open first round on a day that saw multiple upsets in his half of the draw.

Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Karen Khachanov and Roberto Bautista Agut all made first-round exits.

"That's tennis. That's all the reaction I can say, no?" said Nadal, who will face Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round.

"When you start the tournament, you have difficult opponents in front. You need to go on court and respect every single opponent.

"I went on court today against a tough opponent knowing that I need to play well to win. If you play bad, you can lose.

"Tsitsipas had a very tough first round. Of course, Karen is a surprise. I think Thiem have been very sick for the last 10 days. I feel very sorry for him.

"Roberto was a surprise. Honestly, I'm very sad for him."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.