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Swiatek wins opener, Djokovic eyes No. 1

Defending champion Iga Swiatek dominates in her opening victory at the US Open as Novak Djokovic eyes a return to the top of the men's world rankings.

In a thrilling start to the US Open, defending champion Iga Swiatek dominated her opening match, while Novak Djokovic made his highly anticipated return to the tournament with hopes of reclaiming the top spot in men's tennis.

Swiatek, aiming to become the first woman to successfully defend her US Open title since Serena Williams, delivered a commanding performance against Sweden's Rebecca Peterson. With five breaks of serve and 20 winners, the 22-year-old Polish player secured a swift victory in just under an hour. Swiatek expressed her satisfaction with her performance, highlighting her ability to handle the pressure and expectations of the tournament.

Swiatek, now eyeing her fifth Grand Slam title, will face Australia's Daria Saville in the second round. Meanwhile, Greece's eighth seed Maria Sakkari suffered an early exit, losing to Spain's Rebeka Masarova, ranked 71st in the world.

In other women's matches, fourth seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan breezed through to the second round with a dominant win over Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk. Belarusian player Victoria Azarenka, seeded 18th, also secured her spot in the next round by defeating French wild card entrant Fiona Ferro. Czech Republic's Karolina Muchova, the tenth seed, had a comfortable victory over Australia's Storm Hunter.

On the men's side, all eyes were on Djokovic as he returned to the US Open after his defeat in the 2021 final. The Serbian star, aiming for his 24th Grand Slam singles title, started his campaign with a night game on the Arthur Ashe Stadium. A victory in this match would propel him back to the world number one ranking.

Djokovic, who was unable to participate in the 2022 tournament due to his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19, faced France's Alexandre Muller. A win in this match would guarantee Djokovic's return to the top of the rankings, regardless of his performance for the rest of the tournament. Djokovic only needs 20 points to regain the number one spot after defeating current number one Carlos Alcaraz in the Cincinnati Open.

In other men's matches, Danish fourth seed Holger Rune suffered a surprise defeat to Spanish player Roberto Carballes Baena. Last year's runner-up Casper Ruud of Norway battled through a tough match against Emilio Nava of the United States to secure his spot in the second round. Additionally, 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem put an end to his string of first-round exits at Grand Slam tournaments by defeating 25th seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in straight sets.

The US Open promises to deliver more thrilling matches as the tournament progresses, with rising stars and seasoned champions vying for the prestigious titles. Tennis fans around the world eagerly await the next chapter of this exciting competition.

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