US Open 2019: Zverev survives, Nadal cruises as four top-10 seeds fall

By Sports Desk August 28, 2019

Alexander Zverev survived and Rafael Nadal cruised as four top-10 seeds incredibly suffered losses in the US Open first round on Tuesday.

Zverev looked like potentially joining the list of casualties before edging past Radu Albot in five sets at Flushing Meadows.

Nadal, meanwhile, never looked in trouble as he retained his perfect record in the opening round in New York.

However, top-10 seeds did fall as Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roberto Bautista Agut and Karen Khachanov made first-round exits.

 

ZVEREV EDGES THROUGH

A two-time French Open quarter-finalist, Zverev's record at grand slams has been questioned and it seemed set to be a talking point again.

But, the German sixth seed managed to get past Albot 6-1 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-2 after three hours, 10 minutes.

Zverev has never been beyond the third round at the year's final major and while the draw opened up on Tuesday, he faces a tough second-round match.

The 22-year-old will meet Frances Tiafoe, who led Ivo Karlovic 6-2 6-3 1-2 when the Croatian retired.

 

NADAL UNTROUBLED

Nadal, an 18-time grand slam champion, eased past John Millman 6-3 6-2 6-2 to improve to 15-0 in the first round at the US Open.

The Spaniard was relentless and consistent, eventually converting five of 15 break points in a comfortable win.

Nadal will face another Australian, Thanasi Kokkinakis, after the 23-year-old claimed his first main-draw win at a major since 2015 by beating Ilya Ivashka 6-3 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

SEEDS FALL

The fourth-seeded Thiem was not at full fitness as the Austrian bowed out to Thomas Fabbiano 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Thiem and Tsitsipas made first-round exits at Wimbledon and the US Open, the Greek going down to another young star in Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-5.

Khachanov and Bautista Agut, the ninth and 10th seeds respectively, suffered shock losses.

Vasek Pospisil upset Khachanov 4-6 7-5 7-5 4-6 6-3, while Mikhail Kukushkin beat Bautista Agut 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Meanwhile, 2014 champion Marin Cilic progressed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was beaten and Nick Kyrgios advanced in straight sets.

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