Day one of the US Open has come to a completion, with plenty of headlines coming out of New York.
As 53,783 fans made their way through the gates of Flushing Meadows, lucky loser Kristina Kucova recorded the first main draw win of the tournament, defeating American Ann Li in straight sets out on Court 11.
A replay of the 2017 women's singles final between American's Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys kicked off proceedings on Arthur Ashe Stadium, with Stephens claiming a thrilling three set win 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(7) in two hours and 10 minutes.
After trailing 3-5 in the deciding tiebreaker, Stephens flipped the match by winning three points in a row to reclaim the lead. It took three match points for Stephens to clinch the third set tiebreaker, booking her place in the second round of the major.
Next up on Ashe was the match of the day. No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas up against 2012 champion Andy Murray.
Whilst on paper many expected this one to be a relatively straightforward match for Tsitsipas, it ended up being the furthest thing from that, with Murray turning back the clock to produce some jaw dropping tennis.
Murray dominated from the get go, and took the first set 6-2 in emphatic style. The second set was tight, and with no breaks of serve, it would be decided in a tiebreaker. Murray edged himself into the lead, setting up two set points at 6-4 to move two sets to love up, but was unable to convert them, allowing Tsitsipas to level the match by stealing the tiebreaker 9-7.
Despite the disappointment of not being able to move two sets to love up, as true champions do, Murray put his head down and fought hard to regain the lead, taking the third set.
It was then Tsitsipas who dug deep to get back into the match, as he took the fourth set to force a decider.
But that's when the controversy came in to play. Tsitsipas left the court for a bathroom break, which Murray believed was unfair. Tsitsipas returned to the court several minutes later, and broke Murray's serve instantly to move 2-0 up in the decider. Murray was clearly unimpressed with the timing of Tsitsipas' toilet break, as he said "it's never once taken me that long to go to the toilet, ever."
"The toilet's right there, what's he doing? What's he doing in there?" Murray said.
Tsitsipas, who claimed he was changing his clothes after profusely sweating in the hot New York sun blazed away to win the match.
Albeit in controversial circumstances, Tsitsipas prevailed 2-6, 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in four hours and 49 minutes.
Tsitsipas credited his victory to the crowd: “I think the atmosphere was great today,” he said, even though most of the noise from the crown was in support of Murray. “The New York crowd is one of the best crowds in the world.”
Naomi Osaka opened the night session on Arthur Ashe with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-1 victory over Czech Marie Bouzkova, staking her claim as a hot favourite this year in New York.
“I’ve played a lot of matches on this court," Osaka said. “I definitely feel really comfortable here. I think playing the first night match is a really big honor. It’s something I’ve never done before. I’m just glad I won," Osaka said.
In the last match of the day on Ashe, it was No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev who took down Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in what was a perfect way to kick off his campaign for the Russian.
On Louis Armstrong Stadium, Spaniard Garbine Muguruza opened her campaign with a hard fought 7-6(4), 7-6(5) win over Croat Donna Vekic.
The match that followed, many have deemed as the changing of the guard in US tennis, with rising star Brandon Nakashima dispatching 19th seed John Isner 7-6(7), 7-6(6), 6-3 in an incredibly impressive showing.
Speaking of American youngsters notching up wins, 21st seed Cori Gauff came from a set behind to defeat Magda Linette 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the last match of the day session on Louise Armstrong Stadium.
Gauff will now meet a woman she has admired for years - Sloane Stephens. And her fellow American had some lovely words to say about her.
“I have known her since she was like 8, I want to say,” Stephens said of Gauff. “I have actually grown up and seen her play and practice. I think the evolution of her game has been really awesome. It's not very often that you actually see a player from very, very young and then to be as established as she is now. I think she's a great mover and has a great game. Obviously she's young so she still has things to work on, but I think she's a very established player with great things in her game," Stephens said.
In the night session, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka survived a second set blip to overcome Nina Stojanovic 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-0.
Nick Kyrgios took to the court in the last match of the day, and suffered his worst slam defeat to 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6, 4-6, 0-6.
You can read that full match report here.
Now to some of the matches which caught my eye around the grounds.
No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev took down 42 year old qualifier Ivo Karlovic in straight sets, in what will possibly be the Croat's last appearance in the main draw of a major.
No. 12 seed Simona Halep made her return to the court, claiming an impressive win over the in form Italian Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-6(3).
Qualifier Valentini Grammatikopoulou claimed her maiden grand slam win in her debut, defeating Anna Blinkova 6-3, 6-2 to move into the second round.
In one of the upsets of the day, 23rd seed Ugo Humbert suffered a first round defeat to German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, on what was not a good day for the Frenchman.
It started with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's withdrawal from the main draw, and turned into a horror show for the French, with Quentin Halys, Pierre Hugues Herbert, Antoine Hoang and Benoit Paire joining Humbert, and Gasquet on the list of losers on day one.
It was also a disappointing day for the Aussies, with James Duckworth wasting five match points to eventually succumb to Spaniard Pedro Martinez in five sets. John Millman and Astra Sharma also suffered first round defeats, along with Kyrgios as mentioned above.
Mr reliable at the majors - Alexei Popyrin was Australia's sole winner on day one, defeating Moldovan Radu Albot 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3.
In another major upset, 29th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina went down to qualifier Marco Trungelliti in a gruelling five-setter 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4.
Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz penciled his name into the winners list, defeating 26th seed Cam Norrie 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in an incredibly impressive showing. The highest ranked 18 year old in the world has now won on debut at all four majors.
On the men's side, the seeds I have not mentioned to advance to the second round on day one were Casper Ruud, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Diego Schwartzman, Grigor Dimitrov, Dan Evans and Cristian Garin.
The seeds that crashed out who I have not mentioned were Marin Cilic and Filip Krajinovic. Cilic retired midway through the fifth set of his match against German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber, whilst Krajinovic went down in four sets to Argentine Guido Pella.
On the women's side, seeds Ekaterina Alexandrova, Daria Kasatkina, Elena Rybakina, Elise Mertens, Danielle Collins, Elina Svitolina, Angelique Kerber, Ons Jabeur and Victoria Azarenka all moved into the second round.
The only other seed to fall was No. 31 seed Yulia Putintseva, who went down to Kaia Kanepi 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.
Listen to The First Serve with Brett Phillips and Sam Groth as they discuss the US Open – 6.30pm-8pm AEST next Monday 6th September on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / replayed at 8pm AEST on 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
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