NEW YORK (AP) — Garbiñe Muguruza opened the second day of the U.S. Open by dedicating her win to a former top-10 player who had just revealed her cancer diagnosis.
The No. 10 seed beat Nao Hibino 6-4, 6-4 in the first round Tuesday and thought about Carla Suarez Navarro, who share her diagnosis publicly earlier in the day.
Suarez Navarro revealed in a tweeted video that she’ll need six months of chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. She dropped out of the Grand Slam event last month with plans to retire.
“I was expecting to see her in this tournament,” Muguruza said. “You know, she’s such a nice woman, so sweet, so kind, so humble.
“I, for sure, will dedicate this win to her because I want her to feel that we are behind her, that I am behind her, and I will go and see her at some point when it’s fine.”
Suarez Navarro, who turns 32 on Thursday, was ranked as high as No. 6 and reached Grand Slam quarterfinals seven times, including at Flushing Meadows in 2013 and 2018.
“I’m fine and calm at the moment and willing to face whatever comes,” she said in her video.
The second day of the tournament without spectators featured several breakthroughs and comebacks.
Sam Querrey was knocked out of the first round by a player who missed more than two years because of a hip injury. Andrey Kuznetsov’s 6-4, 7-5 (6), 6-2 victory completed his long comeback with his first tour-level win since 2017.
The Russian returned to play last month at a Prague Challenger event and lost his only match after a two-year, seven-month layoff because of the hip. He is the first unranked player to win a Grand Slam match since Nicolas Kiefer at Wimbledon in 2007.
Also, Sumit Nagal became the first Indian man to win a match at the U.S. Open in seven years. The 23-year-old resident of New Delhi beat Bradley Klahn 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Nagal came in ranked No. 124 in the world.
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