Defending champion Naomi Osaka advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday when her opponent withdrew because of illness.
Simona Halep and Garbiñe Muguruza also reached the third round, ending long stretches without success in Flushing Meadows for the two-time Grand Slam champions.
They were among the few players to squeeze in victories early on a rainy afternoon, when play started late and then was suspended briefly on the outer courts.
Osaka had been scheduled to face Olga Danilovic of Serbia in the first match of the day at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Instead, the U.S. Tennis Association moved the 12th-seeded Halep’s match against Kristina Kucova into that spot.
Halep won 6-3, 6-1 to reach the third round for the first time since a quarterfinal appearance in 2016. She was knocked out in the first round in both 2017 and 2018 — the latter the first time the No. 1 seed lost in the first round of the U.S. Open.
But she has made a strong return after missing the French Open and Wimbledon with a calf injury.
“Already it’s a better result than when I was healthy, so it’s a good thing to be in the third round here,” she joked.