Former US Open Champs Nadal, Delpo, Murray, Wawrinka Day 1 Winners; Federer, Djokovic Tues.
by Staff | August 28th, 2018, 12:34 am
  • 65 Comments

Rafael Nadal opened his title defense with an easier-than-expected but unfortunate victory via retirement over countryman David Ferrer. In what will likely be his final Grand Slam match, the 36-year-old Ferrer retired for the first-time ever in a Slam down 6-3, 3-4 due to a lower leg/achilles issue.

A limping Ferrer tried to give it a go after calling for the trainer early in the second, but even though he was winning points, it wasn’t worth the risk.

“I knew that it was impossible finish the match. I tried two more games. Finally I decided to retire because it’s worse to play and break it, break everything,” Ferrer said. “Of course I’m sad because it’s my last Grand Slam. I was enjoying playing the match against Rafa. I was playing good. But anyway, I am proud with myself, with my career. It’s not a problem.”

The Spaniard who has three US Open titles, is in a good section of the draw. Next will be Canadian Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday.

Many of the big names got through on a very hot Monday. Juan Martin del Potro also cruised in the evening beating American Donald Young in straight sets.

Playing his his first 5-set match in over a year, Andy Murray overcame a set down to deny James Duckworth 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

“I actually felt like I could have moved better. I struggled a little bit with that earlier in the match,” Murray said. “The positive was that actually towards the end of the match, I made some quite good moves. Like the second to the last point of the match, I moved pretty quickly up to the drop volley and stuff and kind of maintained my serving speeds throughout the match, as well. So there was some good stuff, but I think I can get better.”

Murray could get del Potro on Friday. But before it will be Fernando Verdasco who he leads 13-1. Verdasco won in straight over countryman Feliciano Lopez.

Fellow former champion Stan Wawrinka also made a winning debut in his return to the US Open. The 2016 champion won his eighth straight match at the US Open beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. The Bulgarian tried to avoid a second straight loss in a Slam first round to the Swiss but was unable to serve out the third.

“Two years ago was something very special, of course, amazing memories after the final… So it was great to come back, that is for sure,” said Wawrinka.

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Match Report

Stan Wawrinka
Raonic through in four sets
After missing last year’s US Open following two surgeries on his left knee, Stan Wawrinka returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time since lifting his third Grand Slam title in 2016.

And for the second consecutive major, Wawrinka defeated reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in a mouthwatering championship opener. The 2016 titlist overcame the eighth seed 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 after two hours and 24 minutes to level his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against the Bulgarian at 4-4 and advance to the second round.

“Two years ago was something very special, of course, [I have] amazing memories after the final… So it was great to come back, that is for sure,” said Wawrinka.

Wawrinka hit 30 winners, including six aces, to emerge victorious and hand Dimitrov back-to-back first-round Grand Slam exits for the first time in over five years. Earlier this season at Wimbledon, the Swiss recovered from a set down to eliminate Dimitrov 1-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(5), 6-4.

“For sure, it was a tough match,” said Wawrinka. “I knew it would be a difficult match. Playing the first round in a Grand Slam, you need to be ready for it. You need to play [your] best tennis from the first point.

“We played already in Wimbledon, so it was a surprise again to play each other. But I’m really happy, first with the victory, that is for sure, but with my level in general.”

The 33-year-old has won 39 of his 50 matches at Flushing Meadows, including each of his eight most recent encounters. Wawrinka has reached the quarter-finals or better in each of his four appearances at the event since 2013.

With three service breaks to none in the opening two sets, Wawrinka quickly established control of the match. The Western & Southern Open quarter-finalist showed signs of his best form, building on his strong performances at recent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Toronto and Cincinnati.

“I have been playing some good tournaments, Cincinnati and Toronto, and keep improving there day-by-day,” he added.” I arrived here a week early to practise, get a lot of time on the court, and I’m happy with today’s match. I think it’s a great start.”

Surprise finalist Kevin Anderson had to fight hard to turn away Ryan Harrison in a 5-setter 7-6(4), 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The big South African had to overcome cramps and a 2-1 set hole to the feisty Harrison.

Dominic Thiem, Jack Sock, John Isner and Milos Raonic were also winners.

Among the young kids, Karen Khachanov advanced but countryman and 2017 quarterfinalist Andrey Rublev was bounced by Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Canadian finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first US Open match unending veteran Tommy Robredo in three. And Taylor Fritz scored his first five set victory, and he did it by coming from two sets down against Mischa Zverev.

In one of the more intriguing matches, Canadian teens Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime clashed for a first time and Shapovalov took via the worst way, the Auger-Aliassime in tears after retiring down 7-5, 5-7, 4-1 due to an irregular heartbeat.

“It was definitely a tough way to win,” Shapovalov said. “First of all, it was a great match playing against Felix. The level was high at times. At first, I honestly think we were both very tight, and I don’t think the level was great. Then in the second set, I think it was a lot better from both of us. At the beginning, I was playing really good, then towards the end he picked it up. What happened in the third set, it’s tough to see a friend go down like that. It was tough. When I saw that he was struggling, I still had to keep trying to win, keep kind of pounding it on him. It wasn’t easy for me.

“Obviously it’s tough how it ended. But I think this match, it’s great for Canadian tennis, two young guys that are coming up that have grown up together playing against each other. It’s really good. I feel that’s the reason why so many Canadians are picking up tennis racquets.”

In addition to Ferrer, both Florian Mayer and Gilles Muller struck their finals balls at the US Open on Monday.

On a busy and an even warmer Tuesday, 5-time champ Roger Federer returns under the lights to meet Yoshihito Nishioka. Novak Djokovic is also back after missing 2017. Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and Nick Kyrgios also headline.


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65 Comments for Former US Open Champs Nadal, Delpo, Murray, Wawrinka Day 1 Winners; Federer, Djokovic Tues.

AndyMira Says:

Awww!That’s so cute Willow!….Certainly beat us all!Hahaha…I don’t have a Rafa shirt or anything related to Rafa….


Mystic - Willow Says:

Andi Mira so glad you like it, so glad your still speaking to me hun ;-)


AndyMira Says:

Of coz i still speaking to u Al!….I love u!Hehehe….


RZ Says:

Sad last grand slam for Ferrer, who’s had a remarkable career in the shadow of the big 4. A testament to hard work and giving 100% on and off the court.


j-kath Says:

I’m a bit surprised that Copil is way ahead on 1st set vs. Cilic.


Humble Rafa Says:

My good amigo, the Unkempt one retired yesterday. There was no better grinder in men’s tennis. He showed up every day (without combing his hair), worked hard and earned his respect on the tennis court. His dedication to our country’s tennis is unquestionable.

May he have good retirement (and find time to comb his hair) every day.


BBB Says:

Hallelujah, Djoker managed not to cough up a break. He needs to be efficient today. Hot, humid weather is not his friend.


ChrisFord1 Says:

Agree, RZ. David Ferrer’s long tennis career is an inspiration to underdogs and those that apply hard work, 105% effort and a never quit until the body can’t take it anymore – mentality.

David Ferrer was a “pusher” by necessity. He had no killer serve, no putaway shot. Many a person, inc. his early coaches thought he lacked the talent to be a top player, and was too small at 5’9″ to win at the top as well. He answered with 30 million in career prize money the seventh highest career prize money earnings of all time among male tennis players (when not adjusting for inflation), became a David Cup legend. He got a standing O after his last Slam match, got to play it against Rafa, a friend who he had beaten in the past. Federer tweeted “Ultimate respect to road warrior @DavidFerrer.”

He helped make this era of tennis great. He was a worthy foe. Very well liked and respected on Tour.
And fans for the most part appreciated him and his great ever give up heart…


Daniel Says:

Djoko losing second set. Fucs was a hard 1st round.


BBB Says:

Djoker looks miserable out there. I hope he pulls it out, but I was worried about the timing of this match.


Daniel Says:

A lot of retirements this 1st round. 3 already today plus 2 more yesterday.


Daniel Says:

And he is a break down in third set, biu Fucs will have to hold to consolidate. Yellowish alert!


BBB Says:

Ne dobro.

I just hope it lasts long enough that things cool down and he can hope for some kind of second wind. Some days you just can’t.


Van Persie Says:

They should have a 10 minutes break after 3rd set, according to the rule applied today. That might help Nole. But he does not look good.


Van Persie Says:

Martin is starting to miss as well


BBB Says:

This just seems unhealthy. I say it watching Martin having called in the trainers when he’s up in the match.


Van Persie Says:

I am getting headaches by watching it


Daniel Says:

Order restored


BBB Says:

Drink some water and get an ice towel VP!


Van Persie Says:

Lol BBB. Also thinking to start the air conditionner, even if not necessary :)


BBB Says:

Just wow.

Yeah, champions sometimes come up with some crazy [stuff].


Van Persie Says:

Respect to all who can endure that heat court. I could not rezist a few games, I amsure, for all the money in the world.


FedExpress Says:

Wow. Fucs choked. Chance to lead 2 sets to 1. Nole is far away from his Hc best form. Federer was just that bad that he made nole look better.


BBB Says:

I have played tennis under those conditions, but not that kind of tennis, and not for that long. I am in awe of all of them. I realize they’re athletes, but this is a lot to ask of human beings.


Van Persie Says:

Hope Nole gets a night match next. 2 in a row in these conditions would break him.


BBB Says:

VP – yes.

Well the guy who gives me all my work came in and I couldn’t very well shoo him out to watch the match, but I am pleasantly surprised to see it’s 5-0.


Van Persie Says:

6-0

Was a hard test on heat for Djoko. He looked really bad in 2nd set.

BBB,

Have agreat day at work. I am going to bed. Night in Europe. :)


Wog Boy Says:

“Federer was just that bad that he made nole look better.”

Actually it’s the other way around, Nole made 37 years old look bad, when you know that you are coming out to play vs the most complete player ever and the best returner ever and not vs some of your fanboys that still keep your posters in their bedroom of course you are going to look bad.

It happened so many times before (24 times excatly), 37 years old is cruising through the tournament and then bumps into Nole..and it hurts.

Besides, Nole has beaten 3 top 10 players plus Raonic in Cincinnati.


Wog Boy Says:

This young dude knows tennis, I bumped accidentally on his YT channel and I liked his look at Cincinnati final, have a look, he is right, Nole was focused and aggressive, the only way to beat King of Cincinnati in Cincinnati:

https://youtu.be/1J9MwvUzAQ8


ChrisFord1 Says:

The main courts at Flushing Meadows are solar and crowd heat ovens.
One of the worst places to play on Tour in hot (and very humid) weather. Maybe worse than Laver Arena when Australia has high heat.
Wednesday the temps will also run 96 with temps 105 or so courtside.
US tennis relented and gave the men the same high heat relief they gave the women a few years back. A break between 3rd and 4th sets to cool down, correct electrolyte imbalances.
Djokovic was hurting, a few of the women lost due to it.
Love to see the AO and USO contemplate shifting dates to get the tournament when the worst and highest temperatures of the normal year are not a factor.


Wog Boy Says:

AO will never change the dates, the only way for AO to have good attendance, actually record attendance compare to other three GSs, is to have it during school holidays, keep in your mind that Australia has only 25 million population spread over the continent bigger than Europe (probably).
Move AO outside school holidays and they will go belly up.


Truth Says:

Butthurt clowns are fuming over Fed? They want more injured guys because there’s no Roddick or Baghdatis to beat up.

Novak hates the sweat weighing him down while the volcanic air burns his head and torso.
Marton was a great junior player and got better at age 26.
Many guys are much better after age 34-38.

Fed would’ve melted and lost in 4 sets too.
Old age excuse is going to be sweet for the rest of the year.


Van orten Says:

Yeah rog back with his all black racquet !!!


skeezer Says:

Fed doing well, even at a bad 37 years old.


Wog Boy Says:

Sure….against #259…compare to #40…


jatin Says:

50+ winners today with every possible shot for Fed.
This is why we love this guy. His tennis when in full flow is like a poetry in motion. Its beautiful.
Hopefully, We will witness this kind of play more often before he hangs up his racket.
And he has switched back to his black painted racket again :)


FedExpress Says:

“These are the slowest conditions at the US Open in years” says Roger Federer on ESPN, comparing constructing points to clay courts

There goes all the hope. Nadal and Nole say thank you.


AndyMira Says:

FE….With all due respect to Fed & fans…imo,court condition is the least factor u should concerned atm…His confidence & self belief where u need to worry about…His loss to Anderson & Nole rocked his confidence & self belief to the core…That leads to his mental fragility atm…And he will be tested on those 2 factor when he meet with Nicky,Fognini or Nole later…

And i think his reduced schedule also contribute to his current form…while it can give an adv to his physical,it also can restrict his ability to build momentum & match toughness…


RZ Says:

Well it’s a good thing I didn’t go with the Racket Bracket’s random picks for my entire draw. It had chosen Marterer to win the final, but he lost his first match to Nishikori. Even if I end up in last place, I will have made better picks than the random generator.


skeezer Says:

AM,
Fed does ok on the slow stuff, just not obviously his favorite surface. It favors Rafa for sure. Nole can play excellant on fast or slow, don’t think it will bother his game.


ChrisFord1 Says:

Skeezer – Djokovic can play well on both, but I give Fed an edge over the span of his career, on fast hard courts.
On grass, prime Fed was probably better than prime Djokovic, but not by much.
Same with clay. Edge to Djokovic simply because he is the only player Rafa and Uncle Toni feared on clay. But Roger was right up there as narrowly the 3rd best on clay – all those finals he lost to Rafa are stll a plus – he got there so many times to the title match only to have Rafa foil him.

Outside clay, I think both Fed and Novak are the better players, for Fed, against everybody but Nadal, Djokovic everyone inc. Nadal.
That is why Djokovic enjoys two amazingly close and high quality rivalries with the two.

Honorable mention to a healthy Murray and Delpo, and Stan, of course as the other superb players only lagging on the trophy count. And Andy has such a big gap bewteen his career results and Delpo, Stans that he is justly part of the Big 4.

Though only a few years are left on the Big 4 dominance, IMO, with maybe 2 of the 4 still a force in 5 years.


Amit Says:

The joker has lost innumerable times to Fed when Fed was in his prime years and there were ass-whoppings everywhere, so much so that Fed fans genuinely wished joker to fall in his side in slams! I dunno what 24 some fanboys are bragging about! Its 24-22 only despite the 6 year difference joker fanboys! Just Chill! Lol


Mystic - Willow Says:

Federer has 20 GS in the end thats what counts, the USO is the most open GS of them all , there has been no repeat winners unlike the other 3 GS with 1 player more or less dominating ….

Dont mind the Fedal rivalry, or the Fedole one, find the Rafole one overated though, a few matches lately have been decided by iffy descisions ….


Mystic - Willow Says:

Amit true that, i think Novak fans wanted them on opposite sides of the draw because Novak beat Federer only the other week and are sensing blood, hoping for a repeat blow out, why wouldnt they ?


AndyMira Says:

Skeezer….Yeah!Agree…But to me,Fed not only OK on slow court,but he is actually GOOD on it…If not,he wouldn’t be in 4 finals & won 1 at FO,included 11 other titles elsewhere on clay…It’s just his game r more suited & dangerous on fast court…

That is why i disagree with FE…He made it sound like USO court this year only suited for Rafa…But Fed also can thrive on it actually…But,my point in my last post was that,court conditioning is not the big factor for Fed i think,but more to other issues that is more concerning than court conditioning…


j-kath Says:

Mstic-Willow: So you are off tomorrow – re. tenis – will you be back in time to see the semis + final?


j-kath Says:

Apologies for the typos….


Amit Says:

Mystic willow

I dont care about joker. He beat Fed last week, so what!! I am referring to the time when Fed was in his prime and younger. Nole was getting beaten left right and cwntre in Fed’s heydays! People should learn from what Fed did to Rafa last year! He is Roger Federer… He shall again defeat joker in slams and silence some of his pathetic fans.


Amit Says:

Joker maniacs who are mocking Fed shouldnt be too wishful of their guy meeting Fed in slams! Wish for a lesser rival for your guy! Fed is too good to be dominated! Rafa was his biggest problem, still he handled him effortlessly last year! Fed needs just one strong match to turn the tables on joker!


Amit Says:

MW

Joker maniac wasnt for you however!


Amit Says:

Joker is a great, he isnt my problem.. Some of his fans are unbearable though, who consider themselves know-it-alls and keep putting Federer down! Lmao idiots, Fed is so great that millions of clowns like them cant harm his legacy one bit!


Markus Says:

Amit, that’s because that kind of Djokovic’s fans are still insecure about the greatness of Novak. They probably really think that Djokovic is still below Federer’s so that to get him to the same level, they have this compelling need to pull Federer down. Unbeknowst to them, it only serves to highlight Federer’s greatness because he is the one they are targeting.


Truth Says:

No one is attacking Fed. You want injuries and losses to Djoker, the real rival. Don’t play innocent when you get butthurt.
Fed lost on his fave surface yet Djoker kept improving his game on every surface. Djoker still is betterer. Too bad.

Fed said he had no problem with the uncomfortable humidity and oven heat. He got broken, and also had trouble closing out the match on the serve of the rabid 5′ 7″ Fed fanboy.


BBB Says:

skeezer, I quickly ead the article on the masters’ but I didn’t see what the objections were? I’ll admit that if Novak & Andy agree on something, I tend to think they have a non-self-serving reason for doing it, but I’d be interested in knowing more.


Truth Says:

They didn’t get the hint that in 2006, Fed lost the vote for adding 5 setters in Masters 1000 events.
They’re trying to make Novak vote yes for playing more often, in longer lasting and much more money grabbing tourneys, when that hinders the schedules, including one of a dominant player like Novak.
Murray’s worried about getting on tour for 6 months.
He’s not interested in playing 3 more Masters 1000s. Why do these organizers think it’s ok to force players to play more for higher points which causes more injury?


Daniel Says:

1st round and no upset. Well, we got Dimi, but you can harldy call that an upset this days as he is bombing low on confidence.

Onto round 2.
Round 3 is where the fun begins:
- Fed x Kyrgios
- Wawa x Raonic
- DelPo x Murray
- Nadal x Kachanov
- Shapo x Anderson
- Coric x Tsitsi


Mystic - Willow Says:

Amit im on the same page as you and completely agree with you, i wasnt been disrepectful to you or Federer, for me domination can be a today thing but not necassarily a tomorrow thing, more of a what have you done for me lately kind of sport ….


Mystic - Willow Says:

J-Kath i go away first thing in the morning, campervan is all ready packed for the off, i will be back towards the end of next week as we are also visiting hubbies parents on the way back, ill be back for the semis and the final though ;-)


skeezer Says:

BBB,

They want to become a “super” masters event, which would balloon to a 96 vs 64 draw and 10-11 day vs 7 day tourney. The reason being more money, more players, basically a bigger event that tourney that can also handle more fans. My guess is Andy/Novak are wary of the playing time they have to put out during those time periods, maybe to long a stretch over tourneys? Dunno…. it seems like the Fed & Rafa would be voting for it to increase the presence and significance of the ATP Tour. Dunno for sure on that one either….


BBB Says:

Thanks skeezer. I wish they had explained the objections. I do think Andy and Novak take their role on the council seriously, as representing all players, and that they may well believe something would be missing for the players in that arrangement.


BBB Says:

“Joker maniacs who are mocking Fed shouldnt be too wishful of their guy meeting Fed in slams! Wish for a lesser rival for your guy!”

I’m actually more afraid of Stan than Fed at the USO.

That said, I think you need to beat whoever’s in front of you, so I resist the urge to wish losses upon others.


Mystic - Willow Says:

BBB my post wasnt knocking Novak either, i just get annoyed sometimes, at the knocking of two other all time greats ….


BBB Says:

The knocking is a vicious cycle. Every player has a group of fans who do it. They’re overly invested in the player. And then it becomes an exchange of sniper fire. You trashed my guy, I trash your guy. Yawn.

To me, Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are all great, and in different ways. That’s to be celebrated, IMO.


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