The opening night of the US Open 2022 dished up a number of massive upsets in the men’s category, with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem, and Taylor Fritz as three high-profile casualties.
Tsitsipas, who started the tournament with the hope of reaching the No. 1 in the ATP rankings, suffered a crushing four-set defeat to Daniel Galan by 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5. The Greek star struggled with a stiff upper arm and had to undergo treatment in between the points. Moreover, his service game appeared very rusty, while Galan played an aggressive game, and was ruthless on the return.
“My arm was pretty tight, nothing was coming off my strokes. I felt like my serve was very slow today, but it was close to the 120s, so I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was. But he returned
great, extremely well. I’m pretty sure it has to do with the altitude where he grew up for sure helps a lot with this kind of stuff,” said Tsitsipas after the game.
Tsitsipas has suffered some of the horrific defeats of his career in the US Open, not to forget his 2019 campaign, when he surrendered seven match points to Borna Coric. His defeat now leaves the race for ATP world number 1 open among four players – Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud, and Carlos Alcaraz.
Dominic Thiem, the US Open 2020 champion, was engaged in a gruelling battle with Pablo Carreño Busta that lasted four over three hours. Thiem, after losing the first two sets, won the third to keep the match alive, but Busta sealed the fourth set to advance to the second round.
Thiem has only recently made a comeback to the tennis circuit, after spending significant time away from the game due to a wrist injury. He has consistently failed to reach the deep end of the tournaments in the last few months.
Taylor Fritz, the world number 10, suffered a 6-7(3), 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4 defeat to the American qualifier Brandon Holt. A lot was expected from Fritz given his recent run in ATP masters, but he looked all over the sea against Holt. The defeat will also hurt Fritz’s hope of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals later this year.
“I’ve been playing really well,” Fritz said. “Had really high hopes. I feel like an idiot for thinking that I could win this thing, win the US Open. I can’t go out and play a match like that. It sucks. I feel awful.”
Lead Image: Stefanos Tsitsipas/Twitter