Retirements, upsets dominate U.S Open’s first day
The last grand slam of the year is already underway at the USTA Billie Jean King Centre, Queens, New York and as usual, some favourites have fallen in the first round of action, while others struggled to get by.
The most shocking upset so far was the Japanese number one and last year’s runner up, Kei Nishikori, who lost in five sets to Frenchman Benoit Paire in a first round duel.
The Japanese star banished doubts about his ability last year at this same tournament when he defeated not one but three top 10 players, including the world no 1, Novak Djokovic, to get to the finals.
He lost the finals in straight sets to Marin Cilic, but he was able to dissuade naysayers who touted that he wasn’t a top ten-player material and eventually made it to the World Tour Finals in London.
However, those doubts are back in full force after he struggled and eventually lost to a player that had never beaten him. Come back kid, Mardy Fish lived to see another day, as he was able to scrape by in four sets against qualifier, Marco Cecchinato.
This is his last tournament as a professional player on the tour. He left the tour for a couple of years, battling anxiety attacks and depression. A total of six men and two women retired from their matches on the first day of play.
Ana Ivanovic, Carla Suarez Navarro, Sloane Stephens, Karolina Pliskova, and several other seeded players bit the dust in the first round of action. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, defending champion, Marin Cilic and Serena Williams all progressed safely to the next round.