Stefanos Tsitsipas faces former champion Andy Murray in US Open Day 1

Day 1 also features second seed Daniil Medvedev and eighth seed Casper Ruud against French veterans Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, respectively.

Stefanos Tsitsipas in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/@atptour)

A first-time showdown between World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas and three-time major champion Andy Murray will take place at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The pair headlines Day 1 of the 2021 US Open, which also features second seed Daniil Medvedev and eighth seed Casper Ruud against French veterans Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, respectively. Recently, Tsitsipas led Novak Djokovic two sets to love at Roland Garros in June before losing the match in five sets. Soon the Greek fell to Frances Tiafoe in the first round at Wimbledon a fortnight later. However, Tsitsipas seems to have rediscovered his form on North American hard courts, with back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati.

“He’s someone that has been putting a lot of work to get back and has been playing very good tennis to be standing where he’s at right now. I think I’m going to go for it, try my chances against him,” Tsitsipas said of Murray. “He’s someone that won’t give up. I’ll have to bring some good tennis from my side.”

Nine years since his first major triumph in New York, 34-year-old Murray would love to produce a huge upset on Day 1. “The positive thing in the past few months is that I haven’t been held back really from what I can do on the practice court,” Murray said. “It is the matches where you need to ultimately go out there and perform. That’s what’s been frustrating the past few weeks.”

Daniil Medvedev eyes first Grand Slam title

Meanwhile, second seed Daniil Medvedev opens his campaign against Gasquet in the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. It is to be noted that two years ago, the Russian surged back from two sets down and pushed Rafael Nadal to a fifth set in his maiden Grand Slam final at Flushing Meadows, but he lost it in the end. The Russian also reached the semifinals last year. But, eventual champion Dominic Thiem ended his run there. He then reached a second major final at this year’s Australian Open before losing it to Novak Djokovic.

“Now I have two finals, [I] need to win, to make a better result at a Slam,” Medvedev said. “I was playing well in both Toronto and Cincinnati, quite similar conditions, hot, humid. I just want to continue [at] this level. When I play well, I know that I can cause trouble to my opponents. That’s the most important.”

Andy Murray: Physically, I’ve been good

Meanwhile, Andy Murray is feeling fit and confident ahead of the final Grand Slam of the season in New York. Notably, Murray defeated Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final to capture his first major title. “Physically, I’ve been good since I’ve been here in the matches,” Murray said in his pre-tournament press conference. “I pulled up well the following days after them. That for me has been really positive. I would obviously like my game to be in a better place.

“It is interesting sometimes that you don’t feel like you’re playing particularly well, but I’ve had opportunities in my matches against top players in the past few weeks and not quite taken them. Maybe if I did, I’d be sitting here with a slightly different take on things.”

Sportslumo Desk

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