Murray Fights, But Falls To Tsitsipas At US Open

Andy Murray (photo: Andrew Ong/USTA)

NEW YORK/STARNBERG, August 31, 2021

Andy Murray rolled back the years to thrill spectators at the US Open in humid conditions on Monday, but despite an great effort, it was third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece who claimed an exciting five-set encounter on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Tsitsipas fired 19 aces and won 77 per cent of his first-service points to secure a 2-6, 7-6(9), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in four hours and 49 minutes.

“It’s not easy, lots of sacrifices I had to make out there to get back,” said Tsitispas, who saved two set points at 4-6 in the second-set tie-break to avoid going down two sets to love.

“The atmosphere was great. The New York crowd is one of the best in the world and the fact that we’re out here able to compete again with people and have an electric atmosphere is something we’ve been waiting for for almost two years.”

World No. 112 Murray, who captured the US Open trophy in 2012, was competing in his seventh tour-level event of the season and continues to battle back from the hip surgery he underwent more than two years ago. It is the first time in 15 appearances that the 35-year-old Briton has fallen in the opening round in New York.

In other action, No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev edged out French veteran Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev from Russia defeated big-serving Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-3. Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut eased past Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 and No. 8 seed Casper Ruud from Norway beat Yuichi Sugita from Japan 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

In the women’s draw, Sloane Stephens emerged victorious from the all-US- American affair with Madison Keys, winning 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(7). Defending champion and No. 3 seed Naomi Osaka opened her title bid with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 win over Marie Bouzkova from the Czech Republic and No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus fought past Nina Stojanovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-0 to reach the second round.

Alycia Parks ties US Open serve speed record

US-American wild card Alycia Parks tied Venus Williams’ US Open serve speed record, clocking a 129 mph serve in her first-round loss to Olga Danilovic. The 20-year-old from Atlanta made her Grand Slam main draw debut Monday, losing to Danilovic of Serbia, 6-3, 7-5. Williams hit her record-setting serve in her first-round match of the 2007 US Open.