The Latest: Djokovic cruises to first-round U.S. Open win

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September 1, 2020 1:41 AM

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic breezed past Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 at the U.S. Open.

Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite to win his fourth men’s championship and he cruised in his first-round matchup at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Djokovic pounded his chest and raised his racket in the air, keeping his celebratory routine intact even without fans in the stadium.

Djokovic is 24-0 in 2020 and has won 18 of his last 19 matches overall in Grand Slam tournaments.

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Meanwhile, Coco Gauff is out of the U.S. Open on Day 1.

Anastasija Sevastova knocked off the 16-year-old Gauff in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

It was Gauff's earliest exit from a Grand Slam tournament in four appearances. A year ago, Gauff made it to the third round at Flushing Meadows before losing to 2018 champion Naomi Osaka in a match that ended in tears for the teen and a hug from the winner.

Sevastova had been just 1-8 in singles in 2020 and got the breakthrough win she needed again in New York. Sevastova was a semifinalist at the U.S. Open two years ago.

Gauff had 13 double-faults.

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No. 9 seed Diego Schwartzman blew a two-set lead and was knocked out of the U.S. Open in the first round.

He led 2-0 but appeared to have problems with cramps as he lost to Cameron Norrie 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 in a match that took nearly 4 hours.

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Top-seeded Karolina Pliskova has advanced in straight sets at the U.S. Open.

Pliskova surged ahead of Anhelina Kalinina 4-1 in the opening set, lost three games in a row, then took the last eight for a 6-4, 6-0 victory. She had a 26-7 edge in winners.

Pliskova is ranked third in the world but has the top seed in New York.

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Three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber is sticking around longer at Flushing Meadows than she did a year ago.

Kerber eliminated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 6-4 in a nearly empty Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Kerber won the 2016 U.S. Open but lost in the first round a year ago. She used to be ranked No. 1 and is seeded 17th in New York.

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Marketa Vondrousova is the first winner of a match at the 2020 U.S. Open — and of any Grand Slam match since early February.

The 2019 French Open runner-up, who is seeded 12th in New York, beat Greet Minnen 6-1, 6-4.

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Grand Slam tennis is back in action for the first time in nearly seven full months as the U.S. Open gets started without spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion at Flushing Meadows, is facing Ajla Tomljanovic in the first match in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

There are about 15 people, including reporters, scattered in the stands of an arena that holds about 14,000.

The No. 1-seeded woman, Karolina Pliskova, will face Anhelina Kalinina later Monday in the first match in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are scheduled to play at night.

The professional tennis tours were on hiatus from March until August because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The last Grand Slam matches were at the Australian Open, which ended in early February. The French Open was postponed from May to late September, and Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II.