US Open round-up: Andy Murray loses first round, Naomi Osaka proceeds to round two

Here is a wrap up of the most interesting matches of the US Open

Andy Murray in a file photo. (Credits: AFP)

Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas’ history at the court would be looked at with anguish and pity, especially at the US Open. People had gone on a limb to deem it as another week, another slice of sheer bad luck for Murray.

Murray went down gracefully as one of the hardest and longest matches in the history of Grand Slam tournament. The third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas rose back from a near loss, to defeat the 2012 champion and former World No 1 Andy Murray 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The match lasted four hours and 48-minute at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, hinting at the intensity at which it was played.

Tsitsipas, this year’s French Open runner-up played his game and took a long break before heading into the final set, and frustrated Murray, who surrendered a break in the opening game. Tsitsipas went for the second bathroom break and he did not return for seven minutes. Murray complained to the umpire and supervisor, Gerry Armstrong. Then he immediately lost his serve at the beginning of the final set with a thumping forehand return. From that immediate deficit for Murray, Tsitsipas crunched forehands gave out big serves as he faced pressure. Murray forced a breakpoint in the fourth game but Tsitsipas saved his lead with a forehand to keep the score 3-1. Tsitsipas held the game strong in the fourth round, and Murray’s valiant effort after four hours and 48 minutes and advanced to the second-round match against France’s Adrian Mannarino.

Coco Gauff marches on

Coco Gauff survived a scare before going past Magda Linette with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory at the US Open on Monday. The World No. 21 seed will next face fellow American Sloane Stephens in the second round encounter on Wednesday. In the first meeting between the two, Gauff needed two hours and 34 minutes to fend off the challenge from the 48th- ranked Linette. Although the 17-year-old Gauff lost the first set she came back strong to win the remaining two sets and prevail over the Polish player.

Gauff had to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19, is looking for her first Grand Slam semi-final berth. She advanced to the French Open quarterfinals in June. However, she lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon to a tough opponent in Angelique Kerber.

Linette, who was coming on the back of a semifinal appearance at the Land Open in Cleveland, caught fire towards the end of the opening set, breaking Gauff at 5-3 to soon find herself ahead by a set and 2-0.

But the teenager maintained her composure and didn’t let the pressure get the better of her as she secured 10 of the 11 remaining games to ease ahead by a double break in the ensuing decider.

Naomi Osaka Cruises ahead easily

Naomi Osaka overcame her nerves and won the match against Czech’s Marie Bouzkova 6-4 6-1. The world number three, Osaka will be competing in the second round t proceed to defend her US Open title in front of a roaring capacity crowd.

The 23-year-old Japanese star is on the way to become the second-ever woman to defend her US Open champion title since Serena Williams. As far as, Williams is concerned, she is out this year with a torn hamstring.

Osaka has had a lot of wins, which include her win at the US and Australian Open wins and a first-round win at this year’s French Open before withdrawing over mental health issues.

Osaka, who lit the cauldron at the Tokyo Olympics, gave an Olympic pin to a young girl in the same venue where she won last year’s title when fans were banned due to COVID-19.

Sportslumo Desk

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