In the most-talked about match of the U.S. Open’s Day One, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas outlasted former number one Andy Murray 2-6, 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the second round.
“It is not easy,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “I had to make lots of sacrifices to come back. I think the atmosphere was great today, with a lot of positive tennis. The New York crowd is known to be one of the best crowds in the world. The fact we are able to compete out here with an electric crowd today is something we have been waiting for.”
The match lasted nearly five hours, and was not without its controversy. After he dropped the third set, Tsitsipas took a medical timeout, and after the fourth set he took a bathroom break back in the locker room. Murray was not pleased with the length of that bathroom break, and was extremely vocal about it as it was going on.
When Tsitsipas returned for the fifth set, he broke in the first game and held serve the rest of the way to close out the victory.
“I think he’s a brilliant player. I think he’s great for the game but I have zero time for that stuff at all,” vented Murray. “I lost respect for him…when you’re playing a brutal match like that, you know, stopping for seven, eight minutes, you do cool down. It can’t be coincidence that it’s happening at those moments.”
Tsitsipas insisted that he abided by the rules.
“I don’t think I broke any rules. I’m playing by the rules and sticking to what the ATP says is fair, then the rest is fine,” he said. “If there’s something that he has to tell me, we should speak to kind of understand what went wrong.”
Nontheless, the third-seed Tsitsipas is into the second round and will face France’s Adrian Mannarino, who notched fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
In an exciting match between two young Americans, Frances Tiafoe took out Christopher Eubanks 7-6(8), 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, blasting 47 winners to just 18 unforced errors to advance in two hours and 54 minutes.
American Frances Tiafoe celebrates during his win over Christopher Eubanks on Monday. (Photo Credit: Manuela Davies/USTA)
Tiafoe will play Argentina’s Guido Pella next.
In another all-American showdown, 20-year-old Brandon Nakashima defeated 19-year-old John Isner 7-6(7), 7-6(6), 6-3.
“It’s always tough against his serve, no matter how many times you play against him,’’ Nakashima said. “But I saw some of his tendencies from the past couple matches, kind of saw what he did and didn’t like to do out there.’’
Other notable winners on Monday included second-seed Daniil Medvedev, fifth-seed Andrey Rublev, eighth-seed Casper Ruud and 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Daniil Medvedev acknowledges the crowd after his straight-sets win on Monday night. (Photo Credit: Manuela Davies/USTA)