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.

Related items

  • Hewitt welcomes return of 'different character' Kyrgios to Australia's Davis Cup team Hewitt welcomes return of 'different character' Kyrgios to Australia's Davis Cup team

    Lleyton Hewitt welcomed the return of "different character" Nick Kyrgios to Australia's Davis Cup team.

    The controversial Kyrgios has not represented his country since February 2018 but is back for the Davis Cup Finals, beginning in Madrid on November 18.

    Rumours of a rift between Kyrgios and Hewitt surfaced at the beginning of this year following the latter's well-publicised fall-out with Bernard Tomic.

    Kyrgios claimed at a news conference at the Australian Open there was "not really" a problem between the two when addressing the situation, but later in the tournament appeared to aim a dig at Hewitt with a deleted Instagram poll.

    The 24-year-old has also endured another controversy-filled season on the ATP Tour and was hit with a fine and suspended ban for hurling abuse at umpire Fergus Murphy in a defeat to Karen Khachanov at the Western and Southern Open in August.

    However, Australia captain Hewitt said the two have met to clear the air and praised Kyrgios' attitude towards the Davis Cup.

    "For Nick and I this has been something that he flagged with me around March," Hewitt said when speaking to reporters.

    "We sat down at Indian Wells and went through things and he has been so willing to do whatever it takes to get back into the Davis Cup team and play for Australia.

    "Nick's a different character and I understand that and we're not always going to put everybody in the same box.

    "You've got to deal with different personalities in all kind of sports, and I feel like I know Nick as well as anyone.

    "I feel like on the Davis Cup court he's done everything I've needed in the past whenever he's been a part of the team. He hasn't put a foot wrong, he's out there picking up balls, half coaching and encouraging other players.

    "There's a lot of things he does in a team environment that I actually think we'll see the best of him."

    Hewitt has been impressed with Kyrgios' willingness to get back involved with the team.

    "He didn't play in Austria last year purely more because of his body, and then he obviously had issues at the start of this year," he added.

    "For him it was straight away I got a message saying, 'Mate, I want to get back in the team.' The great thing is he has a great relationship with all the players as well. 

    "He trains with them every day of every tournament, he hangs out with our coaching staff, physios and everyone else.

    "In terms of that it's never really been an issue, it's kind of about him wanting to be a part of the team and do the right things day in day out.

    "For me I'd much rather have him on my team."

  • Dimitrov secures 300th win, Berrettini boosts ATP Finals hopes Dimitrov secures 300th win, Berrettini boosts ATP Finals hopes

    Grigor Dimitrov recorded his 300th win on the ATP Tour by defeating qualifier Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-5 at the Erste Bank Open.

    Ten years on from his first tour-level triumph, Dimitrov came through his opening match in Vienna having fallen at the first-round hurdle last year.

    He won 55 per cent of his return points against Dzumhur, who has now lost all four of his matches with the Bulgarian.

    "I think it was one of those matches that I really had to go through," Dimitrov said in quotes published on the ATP Tour's website.

    "I was very determined in my own game to find that rhythm. I still believe that I could have done a few things better."

    His second-round opponent will be Matteo Berrettini, whose quest to reach the ATP Finals was boosted by a come-from-behind 3-6 6-3 6-4 success over Kyle Edmund.

    Berrettini, currently ranked 11th in the world, saved four of the five break points he faced and did not give Edmund a sniff on his serve in the decider.

    Second seed Karen Khachanov beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 7-6 (7-3), while fifth seed Diego Schwartzman and Marton Fucsovics also won.

  • Spring in Federer's step as he makes winning start to bid for 10th Swiss title Spring in Federer's step as he makes winning start to bid for 10th Swiss title

    Roger Federer was delighted to find a "good spring in my step" as he cruised into the second round of the Swiss Indoors Basel with a 21st successive victory at the event.

    A nine-time winner in his home city, Federer overcame qualifier Peter Gojowczyk with ease in 53 minutes on court, making 34 winners in a 6-2 6-1 triumph.

    It was the 1,500th match on the ATP Tour for Federer but he showed no signs of either fatigue or rustiness in a routine win.

    "I thought the match was good," he said in quotes published on the ATP Tour's website.

    "I felt like I had a good spring in my step and was quick onto the ball. Didn't take me long to get used to the conditions. That was positive.

    “[I] knew of the danger playing Peter, especially indoors. He had a great couple of qualifying matches, so I knew he'd be tough, especially [because] he beat [Ivo] Karlovic easy, who serves great."

    Elsewhere in Switzerland, eighth seed Benoit Paire was knocked out by wildcard Henri Laaksonen, who won 6-3 7-5, while Jan-Lennard Struff and Alex de Minaur advanced.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.