WTA: Clara Burel scores upset of Wimbledon champ Elena Rybakina


French qualifier Clara Burel notched the biggest win of her career Tuesday by ousting Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the U.S. Open at New York.

Burel, ranked No. 131 in the world, nearly was eliminated over the weekend but was sharper than the 25th-seeded Rybakina while posting the major upset in her second career U.S. Open match.

Burel, 21, saved eight of nine break points and hit 17 winners against 25 unforced errors while earning a second-round match against Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck.

Rybakina committed a whopping 37 unforced errors against 19 winners. The Kazakh didn’t convert any of three break-point opportunities.

It was a major disappointment for Rybakina after she beat Ons Jabeur for her first Grand Slam title less than two months ago.

In another stunner, Van Uytvanck won a first-round match at the U.S. Open for just the second time in nine attempts as she knocked off Venus Williams 6-1, 7-6 (5).

Van Uytvanck hit 29 winners against 26 unforced errors while beating the 42-year-old Williams.

“It’s always an honor to play a legend,” Van Uytvanck said afterward. “She means so much to female’s tennis — tennis in general — and I was so happy to play her for the first time on Arthur Ashe.

“I really enjoyed it. I had goose bumps when I came onto the court and I’m happy with my performance. I tried to stay focused on my own game.”

Williams hit 18 winners and made 25 unforced errors.

“I think this is some of the best tennis she has ever played,” Williams said of Van Uytvanck. “Her level was really incredible today so credit to her.”

Meanwhile, top-seeded Iga Swiatek cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jasmine Paolini of Italy. Swiatek held a 14-5 edge in winners.

Swiatek will face Sloane Stephens in the second round. Stephens defeated Belgium’s Greet Minnen 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Paula Badosa of Spain rallied for a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory over Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine.

No. 6 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus rolled to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Catherine Harrison.

Eighth-seeded Jessica Pegula cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic, while No. 9 Garbine Muguruza of Spain beat Denmark’s Clara Tauson 6-3, 7-6 (5).

Swiss Belinda Bencic, the 13th seed, was a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 winner over Germany’s Andrea Petkovic. China’s Qinwen Zheng knocked off No. 16 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

No. 21 seed Czech Petra Kvitova beat Russian Erika Andreeva 7-6 (3), 6-0, while another Czech, 22nd-seeded Karolina Pliskova outlasted Poland’s Magda Linette 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (8).

–Field Level Media

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