- Seeds tumble on Day 1: After the first day of play, there are just eight seeds remaining in the top half of the draw. Here's how the top half of the draw breaks down after a day of upsets.
Five seeds remain in the top quarter, anchored by No.1 seed Serena Williams, who won via retirement after Vitalia Diatchenko pulled the plug after eight games at 6-0, 2-0. Serena will play Kiki Bertens in the second round. Diatchenko injured her Achilles during her warm-up doing sprints and was visibly impaired throughout the match. The other four seeds surviving the day were No.19 seed Madison Keys, No.15 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 12 seed Belinda Bencic, No.23 seed Venus Williams and No.31 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
In the bottom quarter, which was already hit when No.3 seed Maria Sharapova announced her withdrawal due to a right leg injury on Sunday, lost its next highest seed almost immediately. No.7 seed Ana Ivanovic lost to Dominika Cibulkova, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, in the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The seeds kept falling, with No.10 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, No.21 seed Jelena Jankovic and No.30 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova losing early.
That leaves just three seeds in the bottom quarter: No.17 seed Elina Svitolina, No.13 seed Ekaterina Makarova and No.25 seed Eugenie Bouchard. Needless to say, this is significant opportunity for all three women to make the semifinal.
- CoCo Vandeweghe beats Sloane Stephens, makes history: The older of the two Americans played a strong match to beat No.29 seed Sloane Stephens, 6-4, 6-3, and caused quite a stir when she agreed to be the guinea pig for ESPN's attempt at bringing mid-match interviews to tennis. More on that here. Vandeweghe will play her compatriot Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Wednesday.
- Karolina Pliskova's Slam woes continue: The young Czech had a strong summer, winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series thanks to runs to the final in Stanford and quarterfinal in New Haven. But she exited the tournament quietly with a 6-2, 6-1 loss to qualifier Anna Tatishvili. The World No.8 will be disappointed to finish her Slam season without reaching the second week this year.
- Eugenie Bouchard gets a much-needed win: When you're mired in a slump, every win means the world. Bouchard beat Alison Riske, 6-4, 6-3, to move into the second round. When asked how much it meant, Bouchard was honest. "So much. It's great to get one win. I'm just focused on one day at a time, one point, one match. You know, not looking ahead at all. Not getting ahead of myself. Every match means something to me. Yeah, I'm proud of myself for today."
With all the upsets on the day, the highest ranked player Bouchard could face before the quarterfinals is No.43 Roberta Vinci, who beat her, 6-1, 6-0, last week at the Connecticut Open. That's a loss that Bouchard has tried to wipe from her memory.
"I think my loss last week was kind of a shock to me, a little bit of a wake-up call in a sense I had to get my act together a little bit," she said. "Working this week with Jimmy [Connors], as well, has really given me a different side of things, like a different point of view. He's very energetic. He's kind of lifted my spirits a little bit. He believes in me. He helped me kind of believe in myself more and regain that confidence."
- Daria Kasatkina, a lucky loser indeed: Ranked No.133, Kasatkina took Sharapova's place in the draw and won the battle of the Darias, beating Daria Gavrilova, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. She'll play 17-year-old Ana Konjuh next.
- Heather Watson is still searching for her first US Open win: It was a hot and humid day in New York and Watson blamed the heat and her own tension for a fit of cramping, en route to a 7-6(3), 7-6(0) loss to Lauren Davis. An understandably downtrodden Watson, who has yet to win a main draw match in New York, said after the match that she got caught up in her own head during the match. "I was thinking a lot about this match, thinking that it was a big opportunity, and thinking about the previous years and my results here," she said. "So I think that maybe I thought about that maybe a bit too much."
Odds and ends:
- Serena is relaxing in New York by hanging out in her hotel room and watching Investigation Discovery.
- Not every day that you see the World No.2 riding the tournament transport bus at a Slam. Seeded singles players are entitled to personal drivers and private cars through the tournament. But there was Simona Halep in the front seat of the bus on Monday morning, enduring the heavy traffic with the rest of us on what turned out to be a one-hour commute.
- Madison Keys is a big New Orleans Saints fan, but she can't bring herself to play fantasy football. "I feel like I'm stressed out enough watching one game a week," Keys said after her straight set win over Klara Koukalova. "If I had multiple players from teams, if I had to be emotionally invested in all of the games, I don't think I'd be able to handle it."
That doesn't stop Keys from ribbing her division rival John Isner, who is a die-hard Carolina Panthers fan. "We'll always joke because he's like, Yes, they're great, the Panthers won the division. I'm like, They didn't win half their games. You can't really say they're best in the division because our division was so bad last year. So I kind of take some shots at him. One of their big players got hurt the other day, so he was pretty devastated about that. I was pretty pumped about that."
- The general consensus of the new feel on Arthur Ashe Stadium, which now sports a partial roof structure, is one of intimacy. "It feels more intimate, which is weird, but it does," Serena Williams said. "It feels more private. It feels like a dome. I think that's the best way to describe it."
Venus Williams, who played on Ashe for nearly three hours in her three set win over Monica Puig, was thankful for the added shade on court. "There's a lot more shade," she said. "It feels different. The court looks different. You get a little bit different vibe. Different isn't always bad."
- Jimmy Connors has already left New York and he won't be returning until the final Sunday. Said Bouchard: "So I have to do well to see him again."
- More from Bouchard on what has been a tough season and the criticism she's endured: "Everyone kind of jumped on the bandwagon last year and were super quick to be at my throat this year. You know, it's a bit hard in a way. I try to block it out as much as possible."
- Here's the press room exchange of the day:
Q. Your T-shirt says, Eat right. What does that mean to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really?
Q. Particularly on a game day.
SERENA WILLIAMS: So you came up with that question just from reading my shirt? If I had wore a different shirt would you have asked that question?
Q. I would have.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Credit to you. Credit to you.
Q. I found a way to work the T-shirt.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I like that.