‘Bubble talk’ fills the air as U.S. Open gets underway

U.S. Open play began Monday, with players having to further isolate in some cases because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Novak Djokovic and Karolina Pliskova were among the first-round winners.

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September 1, 2020 - 9:57 AM

Novak Djokovic Photo by AAPIMAGE / DPA / TNS

NEW YORK (AP) — For all of the obvious concessions to the coronavirus at the no-fans-allowed U.S. Open — near-empty arenas; silence pierced by the occasional clap, sneaker squeak or roaring jet; a lack of line judges — the aftereffects of one player’s positive test caused the biggest stir on Day 1.

Yes, plenty of matches were played amid a pandemic at the first Grand Slam tournament in nearly seven full months.

And, yes, first-round matches were lost — by 16-year-old Coco Gauff among the women, and No. 9 seed Diego Schwartzman among the men. And won — by No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova, 2018 champion Naomi Osaka and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber among the women, and No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 5 Alexander Zverev among the men.

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