US Open: Rio Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig loses in first round; Muguruza, Konta move into 2nd round

Monica PuigNew York: Riding high on her Olympic gold medal, which she had won by beating Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber in the semifinals and finals of the Olympics at Rio, No. 32 Monica Puig had entered the US Open, carrying a lot of expectation over her shoulders. However, she lost to crafty Zheng Saisai, who came back from behind in the first set to take the match, 6-4, 6-2, here on Monday.

Puig took an impressive 4-1 lead and when it seemed she would walk past her rival easily, Zheng changed her strategy and started taking off the pace off the balls that ruffled Puig. Zheng upped the ante that compelled Puig to make unforced errors and eualled the score 4-4. Thereafter, there was no looking back for Zheng, who won the match 6-4, 6-2 to move into the second round.

Meanwhile, No. 13 seed Johanna Konta got the better of wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the new Grandstand, 6-3, 6-3, while No. 3 seed Garbiñe Muguruza survived a three-set struggle before advancing, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3, against qualifier Elise Mertens in the first round.