Shelby Rogers of Daniel Island prepared for weeks for her second appearance in the U.S. Open singles main draw. But this one lasted only 80 minutes.
The 20-year-old Rogers is still looking for her initial win at the U.S. Open after suffering a 6-3, 6-2 first-round loss to 19-year-old Caroline Garcia of France on Monday afternoon in New York.
“Her forehand was really on,” Rogers said from New York about Garcia’s game. “She was really aggressive, but she didn’t make many errors. She was making clean contact.
“The crowd was behind me, but I just didn’t get many break points. She played really well. She played the better match,” Rogers added about the Court 10 audience, which included her mother Starley. “I played hard, but it just didn’t work.”
Rogers had only one break-point opportunity in the entire match. That came when the 76th-ranked Garcia was serving for the first set at 5-3. Garcia won the next three points to take a set lead, thanks to a service break in the previous game.
The second set went much the same way as Rogers faced seven break points in her first two service games, dropping service in the third game to fall behind 2-1. Rogers dropped service once more and trailed 5-1. In all, Rogers faced 16 break points.
The match was decided at the service line. Although each player served five aces and the 5-10, 134-pound Garcia’s first-serve percentage was only 60 percent, Garcia won 26 points on the 30 first serves she landed in the service box.
“She mixed up her serve well. She didn’t give me much to look at,” Rogers said.
The loss closed out a Grand Slam tournament singles year for Rogers in which she earned wild cards into both the French Open and U.S. Open, gaining her first major win at the French. She also played in the Wimbledon and Australian Open qualifying tournaments. She arrived in New York with a career-best world ranking of No. 132.
“The year isn’t over yet … it’s only August,” Rogers said.
In fact, Rogers will team up with fellow American Maria Sanchez in the U.S. Open’s doubles main draw later in the week against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands and Johanna Larsson of Sweden. After doubles, she will head straight for Quebec to compete in another tournament.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.
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