This article titled “US Open 2021: Novak Djokovic defeats Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune – as it happened!” was written by Bryan Armen Graham at Flushing Meadows, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 1st September 2021 01.50 UTC
That’s all for our minute-by-minute coverage today. Do check back shortly for a full report of day two’s action and thanks as always for following along with us.
Djokovic: ‘It wasn’t the best of my performances’
“It’s never nice to finish the match the way we finished today,” Djokovic says. “[Rune] is a great guy and one of the up-and-coming stars. … He’s going to come back stronger and I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of him in the future.”
Asked what he was thinking after Rune tied the match at one set apiece, he says: “I was trying to feel the ball out there. It wasn’t the best of my performances. At the same time he played well in the second set when it mattered and I didn’t serve well in the decisive moments.”
Djokovic wins 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1!
Fourth set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 Rune
Djokovic wastes no time: forehand winner, ace, backhand winner, ace. He’s through to the second round and six wins from a record-setting 21st major title and the calendar-year grand slam.
Fourth set: *Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 5-1 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune is able to get on the board in the fourth, holding at love with perhaps a bit of help from a passive Djokovic. Now the top seed will serve for a spot in the second round.
Fourth set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 5-0 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic holds at love, closing it out with an ace, a service winner and another ace. He’s one game from the finish line.
Djokovic breaks in fourth game of fourth set!
Fourth set: *Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 4-0 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune falls behind love-15, 15-30 then 30-40 on his serve. He saves a break point, then double-faults to give Djokovic a third. This time he converts with a forehand winner from the baseline and the match is but a handshake away.
Fourth set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 3-0 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic holds easily, punctuating the game with back-to-back aces of 108mph and 101mph.
Djokovic breaks in second game of fourth set!
Fourth set: *Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 2-0 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune is persisting on heart alone but the body is not complying as he falls behind 15-40 on his serve, pausing in between points in what appears to be agonizing pain. He’s able to save both break-point chances to push it to deuce, but Djokovic rattles off two quick points from there for the early break of serve.
Fourth set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Rune is back on the baseline and it appears he’s going to give it a go. But he’s not able to offer a whole lot of resistance as Djokovic breezes through his opening service game of the fourth.
Djokovic wins third set, 6-2!
Third set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 Rune
Rune falls behind 15-40 on his serve and appears to be in immense pain. Two break-point chances. He saves the first with a forehand winner, but double-faults on the next to gift Djokovic the break and the set. Not sure he will be able to continue.
Meanwhile on the outer courts, Canada’s Vasek Pospisil has rallied for a 2-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Fabio Fognini. That’s the fourth fifth-set tiebreaker of the day.
Third set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 5-2 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic double-faults to fall behind 15-30 on his serve, but answers with his fifth, sixth and seventh aces of the night – all down the center – to hold his serve. A suddenly hobbled Rune will serve to stay in the third set after the change of ends.
Third set: *Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 4-2 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune wins the first point on his serve, but he visibly appears to be struggling. The Dane rips a forehand winner on the next point for 30-love, then gets to 40-love when Djokovic nets a return. Djokovic gets a point back but Rune escapes with the hold thanks to a netcord winner from the baseline.
Rune has called for a trainer during the changeover. He’s grabbing at his left leg and it appears he’s cramping up. A replay shows him wincing on a net approach during a point in the previous game. No medical timeout, only a brief consultation. Meanwhile, Djokovic has practically sprinted to his position on the baseline.
Third set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 4-1 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic goes down love-15 on his serve but rattles off four quick points, including a 113mph ace down the middle, to back up the break.
Djokovic breaks in fourth game of third set!
Third set: *Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 3-1 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune quickly falls behind love-40 on his serve. Three break chances for Djokovic. Rune saves the first with a crafty second serve that Djokovic can’t return in play, but Djokovic converts the second and he’s up an early break in the third.
Third set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 2-1 Rune* (*denotes next server)
A clinical hold at love for Djokovic, including a sizzling 122mph ace. He’s won eight of nine points on his serve to open the third.
Third set: *Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 1-1 Rune (*denotes next server)
If you thought this youngster was going to shrink from the moment, it’s not happened yet. He answers with a straightforward hold that saw him outmuscle Djokovic over a 15-shot rally and crack his second ace of the night: a 126mph corker down the middle.
Third set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 Rune* (*denotes next server)
They’re not saying “boo”, they’re saying Ruuune! The typically rollicking New York crowd is squarely in the young Dane’s corner, even cheering Djokovic’s double faults during critical moments of the second set. The world No 1 very much needs a drama-free service game to open this third set and that’s what he produces, racing out to 40-love then capping it with a 123mph ace down Broadway.
Rune wins second set, 7-6 (5)!
Second-set tiebreaker: Djokovic 5-7 Rune
Djokovic saves the first with a 124mph service winner out wide, then the second with a 123mph thunderbolt down the middle that Rune can’t return in play. One more set point, this one on Rune’s serve … and Rune’s second serve to the body catches Djokovic in an awkward position. The return sails long past the baseline and we’re level at one set apiece!
Second-set tiebreaker: *Djokovic 3-6 Rune (*denotes next server)
Another exhausting baseline rally is settled when Djokovic pounds a forehand winner from the baseline that Rune can’t reach. Rune to serve at 4-3. And he wins the first point with the cheekiest of drop-show winners from the back of the court. Wow. A well-placed 113mph serve that Djokovic can’t return into play gives Rune triple set point …
Second-set tiebreaker: *Djokovic 2-4 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune inches ahead 4-0, then misfires on a forehand to give Djokovic back a minibreak. A gruelling 17-shot rally ensues and it’s Rune who blinks, netting a forehand from the baseline. Rune still up a minibreak with the next serve on Djokovic’s racket as the players switch ends.
Second-set tiebreaker: Djokovic 0-3 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Rune cracks an overhand winner on his serve to open the proceedings. Then he gets the better of Djokovic over a 10-stroke baseline rally to go up a minibreak. Now Djokovic double-faults again – shocking! – and Rune is ahead three points to none with the next two serves on his racket.
Second set: Djokovic 6-1, 6-6 Rune
Djokovic opens his service game with an overhand winner, then follows with an unforced forehand error from the baseline for 15-all. A sharp backhand handcuffs Rune, then Djokovic smashes another overhand for 40-15. An inside-out forehand by Djokovic that Rune can’t return nails down the hold and we’re headed to a second-set tiebreak.
Second set: *Djokovic 6-1, 5-6 Rune (*denotes next server)
Easy hold for Rune, who caps it with an overhand winner into the corner followed by another running fist pump to the gassed-up Ashe masses. Djokovic will serve to force a second-set tiebreak.
Second set: Djokovic 6-1, 5-5 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Good golly! Another Djokovic double fault, his third in two service games, and he’s behind love-15 on his serve. He answers with back-to-back service winners – 118mph down the middle and 106mph out wide – but follows with a unforced error off the backhand for 30-all. He’s able to right the ship from there, getting the best of Rune in a 17-shot exchange then pounding a 126mph service winner. But it’s been anything but smooth sailing in this stanza for the Serb.
Second set: *Djokovic 6-1, 4-5 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune breezes through his service game to back up the break, punctuating the hold with a fist pump to an Ashe crowd that’s very much in the underdog’s corner, and now Djokovic will serve to stay in the second set following the change of ends.
Rune breaks in eighth game of second set!
Second set: Djokovic 6-1, 4-4 Rune* (*denotes next server)
A gorgeous forehand winner from the back of the court for Djokovic, but he follows it with his second double fault of the night for 15-all. Suddenly, a couple of loose points by Djokovic find him 15-40 down. Two break-point chances forthcoming. Djokovic saves the first when Rune badly misses a backhand. But Djokovic then double-faults again, gifting Rune the break. Back on serve in the second.
Djokovic breaks in seventh game of second set!
Second set: *Djokovic 6-1, 4-3 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune’s backhand continues to betray him as he quickly goes down 15-40 on his serve, giving Djokovic two more break-point chances. And he converts the first, catching his teenage foe in no-man’s land with a lob shot winner.
Second set: Djokovic 6-1, 3-3 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic opens with a 125mph ace down the T, then a forehand winner at the end of an 11-shot rally for 30-love. Another booming 122mph serve that Rune can’t handle makes it 40-love before Djokovic closes out the love hold to consolidate the break with a backhand volley winner.
Djokovic breaks in fifth game of second set!
Second set: *Djokovic 6-1, 2-3 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune falls behind love-30 on his serve, then makes his first double fault of the night for 15-40 and double break point. Djokovic wastes no time, cracking a forehand return winner to break and get back on serve in the second.
Second set: Djokovic 6-1, 1-3 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic’s scratchy start to this second set continues as he’s pushed to 30-all on his serve but he bites town with an unreturnable serve followed by a forehand winner from the baseline to get on the board.
Second set: *Djokovic 6-1, 0-3 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune races out to 40-love on his serve, then closes out the love hold when Djokovic makes unforced error off the forehand. That’s 10 straight points for Rune and 12 of 14 in the second set overall.
Rune breaks in second game of second set!
Second set: Djokovic 6-1, 0-2 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic falls behind 0-15 on his serve thanks to an unforced error off the backhand. Rune then hits a forehand passing winner for love-30 and gesticulates to the Ashe crowd, who respond with resounding cheers. What a time for Djokovic’s first double fault! Now he’s down love-40, giving Rune three break-point chances … and he needs only one! Rune rips a forehand passing winner as his opponent rushes the net early in the rally and Djokovic is broken at love!
Second set: *Djokovic 6-1, 0-1 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune is pushed to 30-all on his serve once again but this time serves his way out of trouble. Meanwhile on Grandstand, Petra Kvitova has made quick work of Polona Hercog, winning 6-1, 6-2 in 61 minutes.
Djokovic wins first set, 6-1!
First set: Djokovic 6-1 Rune
Well, that was quick. Djokovic crushes his second, third and fourth aces in serving out the opening set in a stress-free 26 minutes.
Djokovic breaks in sixth game of first set!
First set: *Djokovic 5-1 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune is pushed to 30-all on his serve, then falls behind 30-40 after coming to net and watching Djokovic deliver a goregeous lob winner. A break-point chance and Djokovic calmly converts. Now the world No 1 will serve for the opening set.
First set: Djokovic 4-1 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic races out to 40-love, only for Rune to push it to 40-30 with a forehand winner and backhand passing shot the Serb can’t return in play. But before it can get uncomfortable, Djokovic rips a 119mph ace down the middle to secure the hold.
First set: *Djokovic 3-1 Rune (*denotes next server)
Rune is on the board after holding at love, helped along by three backhand unforced errors by Djokovic. Meanwhile on the outer courts, the 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur is out following a 6-3, 6-0 defeat at the hands of Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.
First set: Djokovic 3-0 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic falls behind love-15 on his serve but wins four quick points capped by a backhand volley winner for the elementary hold.
Djokovic breaks in second game of first set!
First set: *Djokovic 2-0 Rune (*denotes next server)
Djokovic comes to net a couple of shots into a rally and hits a fully extended volley into the open court for love-15. The world No 1 comes to net again on the next point, but this time Rune passes him with a forehand for 15-all. Two quick points for Djokovic and very quickly he’s staked two early break-point chances. A lengthy 13-shot rally ensues and Djokovic blinks, sending a backhand astray for 30-40. Second break-point chance and Rune sends a forehand into the net to give Djokovic the early break.
First set: Djokovic 1-0 Rune* (*denotes next server)
Djokovic makes an unforced error off his backhand to fall behind on his serve, but rattles off three quick points for 40-15. Rune then pounces on a second serve, gets his teeth into the rally and rips a backhand winner for 40-30, but Djokovic nails down the hold on the next point with a big serve that Rune can’t return into the court.
This time last year, the 18-year-old qualifier Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune was No 732 in the world. Now he’s ranked 145th, the first Danish qualifier in the US Open main draw since Kristian Pless in 2006 and facing Novak Djokovic under the lights of the world’s biggest tennis stadium. Life comes at you fast. They’re moments away from starting on Ashe.
The night-session crowd is filing into Arthur Ashe Stadium as we speak ahead of tonight’s first prime-time match between top-seeded Novak Djokovic and Danish teenager Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune. The players should be taking the court for their warm-ups shortly after the top of the hour.
American wild card Jack Sock has won 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 over Japan’s Yoshi Nishioka to book a second-round date with 31st-seeded Alexander Bubblik of Kazakhstan.
A few more results trickling in: Seventh-seeded Iga Swiatek has secured passage to round two with a 6-3, 6-4 win over American qualifier Jamie Loeb, Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena knocks out the Tommy Paul of the United States in four sets, while American riser and 23rd seed Jessie Pegula has just seen off Russia’s Anastasia Potapova in straights.
Germany’s Oscar Otte, who saved match points during his run through last week’s US Open qualifying tournament, is into the second round after scoring a 6-7 (8), 7-5, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) upset of 20th-seeded Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on Court 7.
Tomorrow’s order of play is hot off the presses. Here’s what’s on tap for the biggest courts on Wednesday:
Arthur Ashe Stadium
Day session (12pm local time)
• O Danilovic (SRB) v N Osaka (JPN) 
• D Koepfer (GER) v D Medvedev (RUS) 
Night session (7pm local time)
• S Stephens (USA) v C Gauff (USA) 
• A Mannarino (FRA) v S Tsitsipas (GRE) 
Louis Armstrong Stadium
Day session (11am local time)
• A Petkovic (GER) v G Muguruza (ESP) 
• V Azarenka (BLR)  v J Paolini (ITA)
• F Tiafoe (USA) v G Pella (ARG)
Night session (7pm local time)
• K Anderson (RSA) v D Schwartzman (ARG) 
• A Kerber (GER)  v A Kalinina (UKR)
No 9 seed Pablo Carreno Busta crashes out!
An unbelievable finish on Court 4 where an overflow crowd has just watched American qualifier Maxime Cressy save four match points in a final-set tiebreaker before rallying to close a 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7) win over ninth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta, who becomes the first top-10 seed to fall in Queens. Carreno Busta led 5-2 and a double-minibreak at the end only to make his third and fourth double faults of the afternoon.
One final-set tiebreaker ends, another begins. Ninth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta and American qualifier Maxime Cressy are at 6-all in the decider. The 24-year-old Cressy has crushed 46 aces on the day and has the Court 4 crowd squarely behind him.
… and Andreas Seppi has finally converted on his sixth match point to win 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (13) over Marton Fucsovics, who frittered away five match points of his own during a final-set tiebreak that lasted more than 26 minutes. What a battle!
The clubhouse leader for most dramatic finish of the day (tournament?) is playing out on Court 8, where Italy’s Andreas Seppi and Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics are at 12-all in a fifth-set tiebreaker that’s into its 20th minute …
No 13 seed Jannik Sinner has won 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 over Australian wild card Max Purcell to notch his first career main-draw win at the US Open. A potential all-Italian second-rounder could await against Marco Cecchinato, who faces the American wild card Zachary Svajda in today’s final match on Court 8.
A standing room only crowd has engulfed tiny Court 4 for what’s turned out to be a cracker of a five-setter between American qualifier Maxime Cressy and ninth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta, a US Open semi-finalists last year and recently minted Olympic bronze medalist. They’re on serve early in the fifth and deciding set at 2-all. Elsewhere, Slovakian qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova has survived a second-set hiccup to prevail 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-3 over USTA 18s champion Ashlyn Krueger.
Shelby Rodgers, a US Open quarter-finalist last year who reached a career-high world ranking of No 40 this summer, cruises to a 6-4, 6-0 win in an all-American tangle with Madison Brengle on Court 5.
The endlessly entertaining Gael Monfils, who became the 11th active player to amass 500 tour-level victories at this month’s Cincinnati Masters, has just notched his 501st career win in straight sets over Argentina’s Federico Coria on Court 17.
Sixth-seeded Matteo Berrettini, the 2019 US Open semi-finalist and one of the big seeds in Djokovic’s half of the draw, is through to the second round after a tight 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-3 win over France’s Jeremy Chardy.
Novak Djokovic is on the grounds ahead of tonight’s first-round match against Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune and is taking advantage of the early finish on Ashe to get a quick hit in. According to the ATP’s match notes, Rune is the first Danish opponent that Djokovic has faced in his 18-year professional career.
Denis Shapovalov, the No 7 seed in the men’s draw, is into the second round after a stress-free 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win over fellow left-hander Federico Delbonis. Elsewhere, No 13 seed Jannik Sinner has dropped the third set but still has a clear path to round two with a 6-4, 6-2, 4-6 lead over the Australian wild card Max Purcell.
The American Reilly Opelka, shortly after finishing off a 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 win over South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon earlier today on Court 17, delivered a spicy defense of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Potty-gate imbroglio that’s dominated the day-two discourse.
Yeah, I think it’s a ridiculous – like, I understand it’s getting press because tennis is lame and tennis media sucks and they’re terrible.
But I think Stefanos Tsitsipas, whatever, it’s hot and humid, and for the media, the press that have never stepped foot on a tennis court in their life, have never been in the environment, couldn’t last 30 minutes out in this humidity, in this heat. It’s physical, our sport is. My shoes are dripping, they’re leaking sweat.
To change or to go after, you know, two sets we’re drinking, we’re hydrating a lot, we have to use the bathroom. To change my socks, shoes, my inserts in my shoes, shorts, shirt, everything, the whole nine yards, hat, it takes five, six minutes. Then by the time I walk to and from the court.
You know, I don’t know Tsitsipas, I don’t know his situation. I doubt he’s getting coached. I highly doubt it. Today, you know, I couldn’t even take my bag in to change. I’m like, Guys, my clothes and shoes are in here. You can come stand in here with me if you want. I don’t like being coached on court, that stance, I don’t think we should have on-court coaching at all, but I strictly go to change because it’s hot and it’s humid.
If people don’t understand that, then clearly they’ve never spent a day in the life of a professional athlete or come close to it.
The action in the two big stadiums is absolutely flying today. Barty’s win over Zvonareva means Ashe will go dark until Djokovic kicks off the night session a little more than three hours from now. And Shapovalov has just broken early in the third set against Delbonis for a 6-2, 6-2, 2-1 edge in the final scheduled match on Armstrong until Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova-Alison Riske under the lights tonight.
The American up-and-comer Sebastian Korda, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics to zero in on his US Open prep, has retired down a set and a break to Nikoloz Basilashvili over on Court 5. Elsewhere, France’s Fiona Ferro has cruised to a straightforward 6-1, 6-4 win over Japan’s Nao Hibino.
And on Ashe, the top seed Ashleigh Barty has survived a stiff challenge from Zvonareva in a second-set tiebreak to win 6-1, 7-6 (9), while saving a set point along the way. She advances to face the Danish teenager Clara Tauson, who won 7-5, 6-0 over France’s Clara Burel earlier on Court 6.
Ashleigh Barty has taken a commanding 6-1, 6-4 advantage in her first-round match against Vera Zvonareva, the US Open runner-up of 11 years ago. Over on Armstrong, the seventh-seeded Denis Shapovalov is off to a flying start against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, up a set and a double break at 6-2, 4-0.
Alexander Zverev added fuel to Potty-gate moments ago, co-signing Andy Murray’s criticism of Stefanos Tsitsipas’s controversial use of bathroom breaks. The fourth-seeded German went on to repeat a previous accusation: that Tsitsipas used his phone to text his father during a lengthy bathroom break during their Cincinnati Masters semi-final meeting last week:
Q. A two-part question. Do you know anything about the toilets on the moon, is number one? What was your reaction about …
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: It was just again. It’s happening every match. It’s not normal. It happened to me in the French Open, to Novak at the finals the French Open. You know, I think in Hamburg against Krajinovic he was complaining, against me in Cincinnati was ridiculous, and now here again. I think players are catching up on that.
To be honest, he’s the No. 3 player in the world. He’s a top three player in the world. He’s one of the best in the world at what he does. I do not believe that he needs to do that, because if you’re top three in the world, you’re one of the best in the sport. These kind of things happen at junior events, at futures, at challengers maybe, but not when you’re top three in the world.
You are allowed to do that, but it’s like a unwritten rule between players. That’s something that I said it before, I mean, yes, I have been breaking racquets, I go insane sometimes and all that, but one thing I’m very proud of, and I will keep it for the rest of my career, is I win and lose by playing tennis on the tennis court.
Q. Do you think he had his phone in the bag in Cincinnati? Are you convinced of that? Were you surprised …
ALEXANDER ZVEREV: At the end of the day, I didn’t ask that question, I didn’t get asked that question in Cincinnati, which I was very surprised at, because I was going to answer that very truthfully and honestly. He’s gone for 10-plus minutes. His dad is texting on the phone. He comes out, and all of a sudden his tactic completely changed. It’s not just me but everybody saw it. The whole game plan changes.
I’m like either it’s a very magical place he goes to or there is communication there. But I also don’t want to disrespect him. He is a great player. He is No. 3 in the world for a reason. He’s winning tournaments and playing incredible tennis this year for a reason, so it’s not only that.
But I do believe, and Andy said it, as well, there is some level of respect that everybody needs to have between players. I feel like, yeah, sometimes — or he might just go to the toilet. We don’t know that. That’s also possible. But it just happens too often, I would say.
Emma Raducanu wins 6-2, 6-3!
It took no fewer than seven match points but Emma Raducanu is finally through to the second round after a 6-2, 6-3 win over Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland. The rising British star took control with a break of serve in the eighth game of the second set, followed by a marathon 18-point hold to nail down her first main-draw win at an overseas grand slam.
The 18-year-old Raducanu, who was born in Toronto and resides in London, becomes the first British teenager to win a main-draw US Open match since Laura Robson. Next up: a second-round meeting with China’s Zhang Shuai.
Amanda Anisimova, the American up-and-comer who is ringing in her 20th birthday today, has reached the second round with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan. The surprise 2019 French Open semi-finalist, who hails from the nearby New Jersey town of Freehold (where Bruce Springsteen grew up), moves through to a second-round meeting with fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who dispensed of the American wild card Catherine McNally earlier today in straight sets.
A couple of notable results trickling in from the outer courts. Wimbledon semi-finalist and No 10 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland is through to the second round after pounding 14 aces in a drama-free 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over the Belarusian Egor Gerasimov on Court 11. Then there’s the South African Lloyd Harris – who took out Rafael Nadal earlier this month in Washington – who’s come from behind for a 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over No 25 seed Karen Khachanov on Court 6.
An easy hold in the opening game of the second set made it 24 points out of 29 for Emma Raducanu. Then a bit of turbulence as Voegele held for 1-all and broke the British teen at love in the next game, but Raducanu breaks right back for 2-all amid a mounting crowd on Court 17. Elsewhere, Ashleigh Barty is off to a flying start against Vera Zvonareva on Ashe with an early break for 2-0 in the opener.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, is through to the second round after a straightforward 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 win over Italy’s Salvatore Caruso on Grandstand. He advances to a second-round date with Washington finalist Mackenzie McDonald, the 26-year-old American who scored a tidy straight-sets win over No 27 seed David Goffin earlier today on Court 5.
Emma Raducanu has answered her first patch of adversity with verve. After getting broken in the third game, the British teenager won the next eight points – and 20 of the next 24 – to storm from behind and take the opening set, 6-2, over Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele.
The embattled Alexander Zverev came into this year’s US Open as the hottest player on the men’s tour, having won 11 straight matches following runs to the Olympic gold medal and a fifth career Masters title in Cincinnati. And he’s shown no sign of slowing down today, seeing off Sam Querrey by a 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 scoreline in a brisk 1hr 40min that comes in eight minutes shorter than Kanye’s latest.
Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti has picked up his first win since Roland Garros with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 triumph over American wild card Emilio Nava on Court 7. A second-round date with another American, Reilly Opelka, is next.
The rising British star Emma Raducanu, who swept through last week’s US Open qualifying tournament without dropping a set to reach the main draw in her first overseas grand slam appearance, is on court for her first-round match against Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele. One of 11 teenagers in the women’s singles draw, Raducanu is looking to build on her sensational run to the fourth round of Wimbledon in July in her only other appearance in the main draw of a major.
Greetings and welcome to a mostly sunny Tuesday afternoon at Flushing Meadows. A jam-packed schedule is already under way all over the grounds with both the men’s and women’s world No 1s and a pair of Tokyo Olympic gold medalists due to launch their US Open campaigns. The toplines:
- Novak Djokovic’s bid for a record-setting 21st major championship and the first calendar-year grand slam by a men’s player in more than five decades begins at the top of tonight’s night session when he meets Danish teenager Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune. The top-ranked Serb, who’s won eight of the last 12 major titles, is a perfect 15-0 in first-round matches at the US Open.
- Ashleigh Barty, the top-ranked women’s player, is on Ashe in the final match of the day session against 2010 US Open finalist Vera Zvonareva of Russia. The Aussie star, who’s never made it past the fourth round in Queens, appears poised to make a run at her first hard-court major title after previous wins on clay and grass, having won her second career WTA 1000 title on the surface this year and 25 of 28 matches on American pavement since the start of 2019.
- Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev, who derailed Djokovic’s quest for a golden slam in Tokyo en route to the Olympic title, is already under way on Ashe and has just taken a 6-4, 7-5 lead over the American Sam Querrey.
- Belinda Bencic, the No 11 seed from Switzerland fresh off the Olympic women’s singles title, is serving for the first set against Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands on Armstrong.
- It’s been nearly two full decades since an American man won a major title – Andy Roddick at the 2003 US Open, lest we forget – and it doesn’t seem as if that drought will be ending anytime soon. But the closest thing to a proper homegrown contender at this year’s Open is Reilly Opelka, the 6ft 11in firebomber who reached the Toronto final last month. The No 22 seed and former Wimbledon boys’ champion has already taken care of South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon in straight sets over on Court 17 to gain passage to the second round.
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