The US Open ended early for some of the best men’s tennis players in the world, as four of the top 10 seeds were ousted in their first-round matches on Tuesday.
Leading the way was No. 4 seed Dominic Thiem, who lost to Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Thiem, Tsitsipas Make Early US Open Exits
Fabbiano has a reputation as a giant killer, having previously dispatched Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round at Wimbledon earlier this year. Perhaps that should have sounded the alarm for fans, as Thiem was known to be recovering from an illness that caused him to withdraw from the Cincinnati Masters earlier in the month.
“I got very tired and exhausted after two sets,” Thiem said after the loss. “I’m far away from 100 percent. It was not the real me there on the court.”
Speaking of Tsitsipas, he also ended his US Open run earlier after losing to Andrey Rublev in a marathon 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (9-7), 7-5 match that took four hours to complete.
The No. 8 seeded Greek, who upset Roger Federer at the Australian Open earlier this year, was frustrated with chair umpire Damien Dumusois, who slapped him with a point penalty for taking too long to return to the court between games during the final set.
“This chair umpire, I don’t know, he has something against me,” Tsitsipas told reporters. “I feel like some of them have preferences when they are on the court.”
Also eliminated were No. 9 seed Karen Khachanov and No. 10 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, along with lower seeds Felix Auger-Aliassime (No. 18) and Kyle Edmund (No. 30). Including Day 1 matches, a total of nine of the 32 seeded men were eliminated in the first round this year.
Osaka, Halep Survive Scares
Two of the top women in the US Open field were tested on Tuesday, but survived to fight another day. World No. 1 Naomi Osaka beat Anna Blinkova 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, while fourth-seeded Simona Halep beat American qualifier Nicole Gibbs 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous in my life,” the 21-year-old Osaka said afterwards. “She played really amazing and for me I just came off really slow. For me, I don’t think I found my rhythm but I fought as hard as I could.”
That’s not to say the women’s draw was completely devoid of upsets. American Sloane Stephens, the No. 11 seed, was defeated 6-3, 6-4 by Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya to become the most prominent woman eliminated in the first round.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal had no trouble in his opener, dominating Australia’s John Millman 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Nadal has never lost a first-round match at the US Open, but had to be slightly wary of Millman, who did upset Roger Federer in the fourth round of last year’s tournament.
Wednesday sees the start of second round action, with most of the top names expected to continue cruising through the early stages of the tournament.
Fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium will get to see three of the best players in the world today, starting in the day session, when Roger Federer takes on Bosnian hopeful Damir Dzumhur. Federer is an overwhelming -2000 favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The action continues in the evening session, when Novak Djokovic (-5000) is expected to easily deal with Juan Ignacio Londero (+2400). Serena Williams (-2300) is also back in action tonight, when she will take on Caty McNally (+1340).