2018 US Open: Review of Opening Day Action

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Last year’s finalist Kevin Anderson was made to fight all the way as he rallied from a 1-2 deficit in sets to outlast the American Ryan Harrison 7-6(4),5-7,4-6,6-3,6-4 on court no. 17. The man who defeated him in the finals, three time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain, progressed after fellow countryman and former world number three David Ferrer retired due to a calf injury after dropping the first set 3-6, but was leading 4-3 in the second.

Anderson, seeded fifth and was also the beaten finalist at this year’s Wimbledon on July 15 (loss to Djokovic), served 20 aces to get past the 26 year old Ryan Harrison. The 32 year old South African who played the second longest match in Wimbledon history in his semi final win over the American John Isner, next plays the Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2,4-6,6-4,6-1. Nadal will play Canada’s Vasek Pospisil who was a 7-5,6-3,6-2 winner over Lukas Lacko of the Slovak Republic.

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On an action packed day, third seeded Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina beat another American Donald Young 6-0,6-3,6-4. Ninth seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria, also started his campaign with a 6-3,6-1,6-4 win against Mirza Basic of Bosnia Herzegovina, but the 2016 champion Stanislas Wawrinka, a wild card entry, continued his comeback with a 6-3,6-2,7-5 win against the hapless eight seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Americans John Isner and Jack Sock progressed after straight sets win on Day 1 at the Flushing Meadows. Sock, seeded 18th, beat the Argentine Guido Andreozzi 6-0,7-6(4),6-2, while the 11th seeded Isner beat the fellow American Bradley Klahn 7-6(3),6-3,6-4.

The 2012 champion Andy Murray, playing his first grand slam since losing to Sam Querrey in the quarter finals last year at Wimbledon, playing on protected ranking, rallied after dropping the first set against the Australian James Duckworth, also playing on protected ranking, 6-7(5),6-3,7-5,6-3. Other seeded players to advance were the 27th seeded Russian Karen Khachanov, the 16th seeded Briton Kyle Edmund, 31st seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain, Borna Coric of the Czech Republic, seeded 20th, 15th seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, 25th seeded Milos Raonic of Canada also advanced.

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In what were unexpected results, 16th seeded Briton Kyle Edmund, a semi finalist at the Australian Open in January, lost to the Italian Paolo Lorenzi 4-6,6-4,7-5,6-1. The ninteenth seeded Roberto Bautista Agut was upset by the Australian wildcard Jason Kubler 6-3,6-3,6-4. Serbia’s Davis Cup player Dusan Lajovic beat Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia Herzegovina, seeded twenty fourth, 3-6,6-1,6-3,6-4.

Following is the list of matches in the bottom of the men’s draw with my pick mentioned first:-

Roger Federer (2) v. Yoshihito Nishioka (-)
Benoit Paire (-) v. Dennis Novak (-)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (-) v. Yuki Bhambri (-)
Nick Kyrgios (30) v. Radu Albot (-)
Hyeon Chung (23) v. Ricardas Berankis (-)
Noah Rubin (-) v. Mikhail Kukushkin (-)
John Millman (-) v. Jenson Brooksby (-)
Fabio Fognini (14) v. Michael Mmoh (-)
Pablo Carreno Busta (12) v. Malek Jaziri (-)
Joao Sousa (-) v. Marcel Granollers (-)
Mikhail Youzhny (-) v. Marcos Baghdatis (-)
Lucas Pouille (17) v. Yannick Maden (-)
Richard Gasquet (26) v. Yuichi Sugita (-)
Leonardo Mayer (-) v. Laslo Djere (-)
Tennys Sandgren (-) v. Viktor Troicki (-)
Novak Djokovic (6) v. Marton Fucsovics (-)
Alexander Zverev (4) v. Peter Polansky (-)
Jiri Vesley (-) v. Corentin Moutet (-)
Philipp Kohlschreiber (-) v. Yannick Hanfmann (-)
Filip Krajinovic (32) v. Matthew Ebden (-)
Kei Nishikori (21) v. Maximilian Marterer (-)
Gael Monfils (-) v. Facundo Bagnis (-)
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (-) v. Jaume Munar (-)
Diego Schwartzman (13) v. Federico Delbonis (-)
David Goffin (10) v. Federico Gaio (-)
Robin Haase (-) v. Mackenzie McDonald (-)
Tim Smyczek (-) v. Jan-Lennard Struff (-)
Marco Cecchinato (22) v. Julien Benneteau (-)
Adrian Mannarino (29) v. Frances Tiafoe (-)
Alex de Minaur (-) v. Taro Daniel (-)
Stefano Travaglia (-) v. Hubert Hurkacz (-)
Marin Cilic (7) v. Marius Copil (-)

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In the women’s section, the French Open champion Simona Halep of Romania, top seed and the world’s number one ranked player, was brought down to earth as she went down to the Estonian Kaia Kanepi 2-6,4-6. However the Williams sisters, both former champions advanced, as did fellow American Sloane Stephens, the defending champion. The Australians Daria Gavrilova and Ashley Barty, Julia Goerges of Germany, Maria Sakkari of Greece, Barbara Strycova and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, the Latvian Anastasia Sevatsova, former Wimbledon and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain, Elise Merterns of Belgium and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia were the seeded players to advance.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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