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Upsets rock US Open 1st week 🎾

Aug-22_Tennis-US-Open

The final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, has reached its second week and round of 16, but the tournament has seen numerous shocking results already, with some favorites and big names faltering early.

From the first round, lower-ranked players have pushed the seeds, causing upsets and drawing attention to themselves.

Upsets in the Women’s Singles draw

One of the major shockers in the first round was No.7 seed Simona Halep falling to Ukrainian qualifier Daria Snigur.

Snigur, ranked 124, took out the two-time Grand Slam champion 6-2, 0-6, 6-4.

Halep came into the US Open in decent form, having recently won big at the National Bank Open, a WTA 1000 event in Canada, defeating in-form Beatriz Hadda-Maia in a keenly contested final.

The Romanian had just returned to the top 10 for the first time since August 2021 and was on a seven-match winning streak. The 30-year-old’s partnership with Serena Williams’ former coach, Patrick Patrick Mouratoglou had finally began to click and she was tipped to make a deep run into the tournament.

Snigur eventually lost in straight sets to Rebecca Marino in the second round, but the 20-year-old has caused one of the biggest upsets of the tournament and will be remembered for that.

Defending champion, Emma Raducanu was also a first round casualty, losing to World No.40 Alize Cornet in straight sets.

Raducanu stormed to the title last year, becoming the first qualifier (man or woman) to win a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era and capturing the title without dropping a set. The 19-year-old has however been unable to replicate the form which led her to that feat and has struggled to fully adapt to the WTA tour.

Going into this year’s tournament, Raducanu was in obvious danger, facing an experienced Cornet who was playing at a 63rd consecutive Grand Slam. Cornet had also notably snapped World No.1 Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak in the third round at Wimbledon.

With this early loss, Raducanu will slump down the rankings from No.11 to around 80.

Latest Wimbedon champion Elena Rybakina was stunned 6-4, 6-4 in the opening round by French qualifier Clara Burel.

Rybakina became the first player from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in July, but the 23-year-old has now lost four of the eight matches she has played since then.

No.10 seed Daria Kasatkina had come into the US Open on a high after winning her sixth career title at the inaugural Championnats Banque Nationale de Granby in Canada just three days before. The Russian was however dumped out in the first round at the hands of World No.88 Harriet Dart.

With a 7-6(10), 1-6, 6-3 victory, Dart earned the biggest win of her career so far.

Other upsets:

No.3 seed Maria Sakkari – Lost to World No.75 Xiyu Wang in the second round

No.4 seed Paula Badosa – Beaten by World No.54 Petra Martic in the second round

No.14 seed Leylah Fernandez – Lost in the first round to World No.35 Liudmila Samsonova

No.15 seed Beatriz Haddad-Maia – Beaten by Bianca Andreescu in the second round

No.16 seed Jelena Ostapenko – First round loss to World No.39 Qinwen Zheng

No.23 seed Barbora Krejcikova – Second round loss to World No.96 Aleksandra Krunic

No.24 seed Amanda Anisimova – Lost to World No.38 Yulia Putintseva in the first round

No.27 seed Martina Trevisan – Lost to unranked Evgeniya Rodina in the first round

No.28 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova – Beaten by World No.105 Lauren Davis in the second round

No.32 seed Elise Mertens – Lost to World No.42 Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round

 

Upsets in the Men’s Singles draw

No.4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas losing in the opening round was totally unexpected. The 2021 French Open runner-up was one of the four players who could have potentially snatched the World No.1 spot from Daniil Medvedev after the tournament, but he suffered a shocking 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 defeat to qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan.

Tsitsipas received treatment twice during the match for what seemed to be an elbow problem and never fully found his rhythm all match.

Galan, who was making his debut at the US Open, earned his first top-five win. Tsitsipas saved eight match points in the fourth set but his efforts were not enough as Galan closed it out 7-5.

“He did a great job, he dominated the game completely. I just couldn’t get into the match at all. It was as if I was half-dead,” Tsitsipas said during his post-match press conference.

“He played like a world-class player and I played like close to an amateur, not very nice to say that, but that’s what happened.

“I was very well prepared, I was playing very well in practice, had some really good matches against different kinds of players. I felt like the momentum was in my favour, I just might have felt a little tense going into the match.”

Taylor Fritz, having an impressive year, came into the tournament as No.10 seed and was looking to become the first American man to win a major since Andy Roddick at the 2003 US Open. The 24-year-old did not go past the opening round though, losing to qualifier Brandon Holt in four sets.

Holt, son of former WTA World No.1 Tracy Austin, was making his Grand Slam debut.

Fritz, clearly disappointed with the loss, admitted he played an underwhelming match, while praising Holt.

“It feels awful. Been playing really well. 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,” Fritz said.

“A lot of credit to Brandon. He played a lot of really good points. He honestly played well.”

No.6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was taken out in the second round by British rising star Jack Draper.

Draper, playing in just his second Grand Slam main draw and first at the US Open, put up a very convincing performance, defeating the Canadian 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to book his spot at a Grand Slam third round for the first time.

It was a disappointing one for Auger-Aliassime, who reached his maiden Grand Slam semifinal at this same tournament last year.

Other upsets:

No.8 seed Hubert Hurkacz – Beaten by World No.73 Ilya Ivashka in the second round

No.16 seed Roberto Bautista Agut – Lost to World No.87 J.J Wolf in the first round

No.17 seed Grigor Dimitrov – Lost to World No.69 Brandon Nakashima in the second round

No.21 seed Botic van de Zandschulp – Fell to qualifier Corentin Moutet in the second round

No.25 seed Borna Coric – Beaten by World No. 43 Jenson Brooksby

No. 31 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili – Lost to qualifier Yibing Wu in the first round

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