Alcaraz, Sinner, Medvedev Enjoy Easy Openers At US Open; Djokovic Returns Tomorrow

by Staff | August 30th, 2023, 12:05 am
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The top quarter stars Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner enjoyed quick openers Tuesday night.

Alcaraz’s opponent Dominik Koepfer rolled his left ankle in the first game and then an hour later retired down 6-2, 3-2. Koepfer received treatment but couldn’t play at 100%.

After seven straight deciding sets, it was a welcome quick win for the 20-year-old in his title defense.

“It’s obviously not the best way to get through to the next round,” Alcaraz said. “It’s very unfortunate for him but I was feeling really good on court. It’s a court I love playing in. I felt the same energy I felt last year.”

At the same time, Jannik Sinner also faced a German and he dropped just five games rolling through 6-3, 6-1, 6-1. The Canadian champion was in dominant form in the win.

“I was playing good, I was returning good,” Sinner said. “Sometimes the serve could be a little bit better. But the atmosphere is obviously very nice. I know physically I’m healthy, which is most important.”

In the afternoon, Daniil Medvedev got things started by hammering the 34-year-old Attila Balasz 6-1, 6-1, 6-0. The former champion picked up his easiest win in a Grand Slam.

“It is always good to start well,” said the Russian. “I am happy with my performance. I am looking forward to the next matches and to play for as long as possible in New York. I hope I can play better and better each match as each one is going to be more difficult.”

Fellow former champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka also won in straight sets.

Murray toughed out Corentin Moutet 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 while Wawrinka topped 7-6(7-5), 6-2, 6-4.

“It was amazing. A brilliant atmosphere against one of the most skillful players on Tour,” Murray said after his 200th career Grand Slam match win. “He has so many ways to disrupt you, he is an exceptional player and he moves extremely well and always causes a bit of chaos. I hope it was entertaining for everyone. There were some fun points in there. I am happy to get through in straight sets because the second set was very tight.”

Elsewhere, No. 8 seed Andrey Rublev cruised past late lucky loser Arthur Cazaux of France 6-4, 7-6(7-5), 6-1. Michael Mmoh upended the returning semifinalist from last year Karen Khachanov 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. No. 13 Alex De Minaur bested Timofey Skatov 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.

Former finalist Alexander Zverev continues to play well dismissing Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Grigor Dimitrov saved a match point in a win over Alex Molcan 6-7(9-11), 6-7(5-7), 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(11-9) in over 4.5 hours. (

No. 17 seed Hubert Hurkacz have to come from two sets down to defeat Marc-Andrea Huesler 4-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1. French 19-year-old Arthur Fils posted a strong win in his debut upsetting No. 24 Tallon Griekspoor in sets 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.

The 23rd-seeded Nicolas Jarry got the better of (Luca Van Assche of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(7-3). No. 26 Daniel Evans ousted Daniel Elahi Galan in a match in straights 6-4, 6-2, 7-5. No. 30 Tomas Martin Etcheverry had to go to the wire to beat qualifier Otto Virtanen 6-3, 6-7(3-7), 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(10-5). And Matteo Berrettini bounced (No. 29 seed Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

John Isner kept his career going defeating Facundo Diaz Acosta 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7-1).

The second round opens Wednesday with favorite Novak Djokovic meeting Bernabe Zapata Miralles for a first time.

Also, 2022 finalist Casper Ruud faces Zhizhen Zhang, No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Dominic Stricker, No. 9 Taylor Fritz collides Juan Pablo Varillas, No. 10 Frances Tiafoe draws Sebastian Ofner and No. 14 Tommy Paul meets Wimbledon quaterfinalist Roman Safiullin.

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