US Open Starts With Record Attendance On Opening Night

US Open (photo: Michael Dickens)

NEW YORK/STARNBERG, August 30, 2022

The US Open set an all-time night-session attendance record on Opening Night with 29,402 fans coming to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Along with the 41,930 fans who attended Monday’s day session – an Opening Day session record – Monday set the second-highest single-day attendance mark in the tournament’s history, with a total attendance of 71,332.

In the men’s draw, Daniil Medvedev from Russia began his title defence at Flushing Meadows with a solid 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 first-round victory over Stefan Kozlov from the United States.

“I am pleased to win. Not easy conditions. Pretty hot and humid here,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “I was sweating a lot but I thought there were some good points. I managed to be pretty solid and I thought the serve was key today. I am happy to go through to the second round.”

The 26-year-old will next take on Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, who fought past his compatriot Quentin Halys 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2.

In a battle between close friends, Nick Kyrgios defeated fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) to reach the second round. The 23rd seed will play Benjamin Bonzi of France for a place in the third round.

“Probably one of the most uncomfortable matches I’ve played in my career. I feel like we both had a game plan. We know our games so well. From the get-go, I was trying to block out his body and just play the tennis ball,” Kyrgios said. “I was really trying not to look at him at all. I felt like that kind of helped me.”

World No. 95 Daniel Elahi Galan caused the upset of the day by earning the biggest win of his career inside Louis Armstrong Stadium. The Colombian stunned the fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 behind 41 winners. Galan converted his ninth match point after two hours and 48 minutes on his main draw debut at the season’s final major.

“Definitely one of the best moments of my career,” Galan said. “Definitely the best match of my career, not only because of the circumstances, also the opponent. I’m really happy.” 

Tsitsipas must wait his turn

Tsitsipas was one of five players, who had the opportunity at the US Open to hold the No. 1 ATP Ranking at the end of the tournament, but that dream is now gone.

“I was very motivated and pumped before the US Open started because I knew I could use this tournament to get closer to the No. 1 spot,” Tsitsipas said. “It would be very weird and very unusual if it didn’t cross my mind, because this is something I wanted since I was a kid and I know this is my chance now to step it up.

“It just didn’t go as planned. Sometimes you just need to let it go, you don’t need to overthink it, you don’t need to push yourself too hard but at the same time it’s difficult because there’s this open opportunity right in front of you, you don’t want to mess it up, you don’t want to waste it.

“My chances, I guess, are a bit smaller. The margin is not as thin as it used to be now after the US Open but I’m still going to try and add points to my ranking, as much as I can until the end of the year, I really want to perhaps finish in the Top 3… more opportunities ahead.”

Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz as well as Norwegian Casper Ruud are left in the race for becoming new World No. 1. Fifth-seeded Ruud defeated Kyle Edmund from Great Britain 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 and will next play Tim van Rijthoven from the Netherlands.

Serena to face Kontaveit

In the women’s draw, No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia beat Jaqueline Adina Cristian from Romania to set a second-round clash with Serena Williams, who announced earlier this month that the US Open would very likely be her last tournament.

The 40-year-old US-American overcame Danka Kovinic from Montenegro 6-3, 6-3 to continue on in the Grand Slam tournament.

“I think when I walked out, the reception was really overwhelming,” said Williams.

“It was loud and I could feel it in my chest. It was a really good feeling. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget. That meant a lot to me. I’m still here for the time being, just enjoying it.”