Djokovic Dominates In US Open Return, Back To No. 1, Rune Out; Alcaraz, Medvedev Tues.
In his first US Open match in two years, Novak Djokovic dominated in his return with a win over Alexandre Muller 6-0, 6-2, 6-3.
After starting just after 11pm. Djokovic won the first two sets in about an hour and then put away the Frenchman on a cool night in New York. The win also assured Djokovic the No. 1 ranking at the end of the tournament — Carlos Alcaraz is defending his title points.
Stefanos Tsitsipas also had an easy night blowing past Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. It was the Greek’s first win over the Canadian in three tries. Tsitsipas broke Raonic five times.
“It was fun to play high quality tennis against a champion like Milos,” Tsitsipas told the crowd. “He’s dealing with a comeback and I knew he had nothing to lose. I had to bring my A game from the very first point. I made it physical and it worked.”
2022 finalist Casper Ruud toughed out American qualifier Emilio Nava 7-6(7-5), 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(7-5).
Holger Rune was the big casualty on the day. The No. 4 seed fell to Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The Spaniard earned his first career Top 10 win after losing his first 13. Meanwhile, the 20-year-old Rune last won a match at Wimbledon.
“Disappointing day today,” Rune said. “I had, as you know, a setback after the tournaments in Toronto and Cincy, where I had to retire. Not the best preparation I had.
“Not satisfied with the result obviously, but also with my tennis. There is only one way, and it’s to work.
Former champion Dominic Thiem enjoyed his first Grand Slam win in years defeating the 25th-seeded Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Thiem, who won the US Open in 2020, didn’t have a hard court win all year and had lost his last seven in Slams.
“It was a very good match, basically from the first moment,” Thiem said. “It’s a pretty special victory, because it’s the first since two-and-a-half years at Grand Slams.
“It’s great. Especially here at the US Open with all the past and all the memories I have here.”
Americans had a decent day with 9th-seeded Taylor Fritz defeating countryman Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-1, 6-2. 2022 semifinalist Frances Tiafoe sent off Learner Tien 6-2, 7-5, 6-1. No. 14 seed Tommy Paul handled Stefano Travaglia 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. As many predicted, Mackenzie McDonald upset No. 15 Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(7-5), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. No. 28 Christopher Eubanks moved past Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4. But Marton Fucsovics upended the No. 31 seed Sebastian Korda 7-6(7-4), 4-6, 7-6(7-1), 4-6, 6-4.
French qualifier Titouan Droguet upset 18th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in five sets 6-3, 0-6, 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-2.
Francisco Cerundolo, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Laslo Djere all advanced.
Tomorrow on Tuesday, two former men’s champions are on Ashe. No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz clashes with Dominik Koepfer and No. 3 Daniil Medvedev faces Attila Balazs, both in first-time meetings.
No. 6 Jannik Sinner collides with German Yannick Hanfmann, No. 8 Andrey Rublev faces Emil Ruusuvuori, former semifinalist Karen Khachanov faces Michael Mmoh and No. 12 Alexander Zverev faces Aleksandar Vukic.
Also, Gael Monfils faces Taro Daniel, Yoshihito Nishioka meets Stan Wawrinka and Corentin Moutet tests Andy Murray plus John Isner clashes with Facundo Diaz Acosta in his final tournament.
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