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Monday, January 17, 2022

The Many Spills & Thrills of the 2021 US Open – Highlights & Recaps

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By: Marvin Azrak

 

The US Open thus far despite not featuring Rodger Federer, Rafael  Nadal, reigning-champion Dominic Thiem, and the Williams sisters has brought many spills ,and thrills nonetheless with favorites flexing their muscles, and upsets-galore making waves as well. Particularly  two 18 year-olds in Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, and Canadian Leylah Fernandez have captivated a majority of the young fans, in contrast to the generational side, who have been riding the Novak Djokovic chase for history. The fans have been in full-throat for each match after being prohibited from the grounds last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, though you still have to show prof of vaccination if you do wish to still attend this year’s festivities.

In the most controversial match in years, world number 3, Stefanos rallied to defeat Andy Murray (pictured above) in five sets 2-6, 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Photo Credit: USOpen.org

 

 

Round 1 RECAP:

 

MEN:

  • Novak Djokovic still wasn’t able to generate positive New York crowd support despite entering the tournament going for the calendar grand slam, and grand slam #21 which would break the tie between Rodger Federer, and Rafael Nadal for the most ever. But he was able to channel the adversity and fend off 18-year-old Holger Rune 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-1. The match also got away from the teenager late due to cramping.
– Spanish teen, Carlos Alcaraz. Photo Credit: USOpen.org

 

  • In the most controversial match in years, world number 3, Stefanos rallied to defeat Andy Murray in five sets 2-6, 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. But the controversy surrounding what is now being referred to as “Bathroom Gate”, came after Andy took the third set, with Tspitas taking a suspicious 20-minute bathroom break, changing absolutely everything about his outfit, and his game igniting Murray. Andy said post-match he has lost “All his respect” for Tspitas for the extremely long restroom break, with he among others in the Tennis community, including fans demanding there be time restrictions for the future. As for the man himself, Tstipas said he played within the rules which are also true, but at the end of the day, it’s about being considerate to your peers which didn’t happen in that match to begin his campaign.

 

  • Number 2 seed Danil Medvedev cruised past Richard Gasquet in round one 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
  • Roberto Bautista-Agut swept fan-favorite Nick Kyrigos 6-3, 6-4, 6-0.
  • In a surprising upset, Lloyd Harris took down NO 25 seed Khachanov 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
  • American Sam Querry was defeated by NO4 seed Alexander Zerev 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.
  • NO6 seed Mateo Berettini swept Jermy Chardy 7-6(5) 7-6(7) 6-3.
  • NO7 seed  Dennis Shappovalov looked very comfortable against Fransico Delebonis in round one 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
  • American Taylor Fritz took out 14 seed Alex Di Minaur in an astonishing upset 7-6(4), 6-2, 1-6,  6-4.
  • Canadian Victor Popisil rallied down two sets to love to oust NO 28 seed Fabio Fognini 2-6,  3-6, 6-1, 6-3, 7-6(4)

 

WOMEN:

  • Defending champion on the women’s side Naomi Osaka looked in tip-top shape in her 6-4, 6-1 win over Marie Bouzkova.
  • 17-year-old American Coco Gauff was victorious in her first-round match over Linnete 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
  • NO 1 seed Ash Barty rolled through round one 6-1, 7-6(7).
Defending champion on the women’s side Naomi Osaka (pictured above) looked in tip-top shape in her 6-4, 6-1 win over Marie Bouzkova. Photo Credit: AP

ROUND 2 RECAP:

 

MEN

 

  • Danil Medvedev put on a clinic against Daniel Koepfer in his 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win.
  • Ranked #177 in the world, Ben Van De Zandschulp stunned NO8 seed Conner Ruud 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, and is now one of the final 32 left in the draw.
  • Fresh off his “Bathroom gate” win over Andy Murray, Stefonas  Tstipas defeated Andre Mannarino 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(4) 6-0, and will now face 18-year-old sensation Carlos Acuraz in the third round.
  • NO 6 seed Mateo Berettini advanced past Carlos Moutlet 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
  • Ivan Ivashka swept a fatigued Victor Popsil 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(5), and will face Bertini in the third round.
  • NO 4 seed Alexander Zerev looked flawless against Andre Ramos-Vinalos winning going away 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.
  • Lloyd Harris took out American Eduardo Escobedo 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
  • NO 7 seed Dennis Shappovalov trounced Robert Carballes-Baena 7-6(7) 6-3, 6-0 and will face Harris in round three.
  • Two down five to go in Novak Djokovic’s quest for tennis history, as the world number one thrashed Tanner Griekspoor 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

 

WOMEN:

 

  • In the most anticipated match of the round, American Solane Stephans eliminated teenage sensation Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-2.
  • World NO 1 Ash  Barty eased through her round two match-winning it 6-1, 7-5 over Caroline Tauson.

 

 

ROUND 3 RECAP: 

 

  • 18-year old Spaniard Carlos ALCARAZ stunned the world on Friday(9/3) when he ousted world NO 3 Stefanos Tstipas In 4 hours 7-minute classic, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), 0-6, 7-6(5). He becomes the youngest man to advance to the second week of a grand slam and inspired many teenagers with the way he held his composure physically and mentally, after being “bagel” in the fourth. This match will go down as not only the upset of the year, but the match of the year, and the biggest upset in US Open history to date in terms of improbability.
  • Francis Tiafoe stunned world NO5 Andre Rublev in another five-setter 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-1 in primetime.
  • 12 seeded Felix-Auger-Aliassme ousted 18 seeded Roberto-Bautista-Agut in a five-set classic, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3. The 21-year-old roared in the revelation of his win and will face 23-year old Francis Tiafoe in a blockbuster fourth-round matchup.
  • 11 seed Diego Schwartzman routed Andre Molcan 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, and will face cinderella story Ben Van de Zandschulp, who took out Francis Delebonis 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.
  • Mateo Bertini was battle-tested in his third-round match, but was able to push through to the sweet 16, and defeat Ivan Ivashka 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
  • 21-year-old Janik Sinner defeated fan-favorite Gael Monfils in a five-set epic 7-6(1), 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, and will face NO 4 seed Alexander Zerev in the fourth round.
  • Alexander Zerev advanced after American Jack Sock had to retire from the match due to injury, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 2-1.
  • Unseeded Lloyd Harris stunned seven seed Dennis Shappovalov in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
  • Novak Djokovic rebounded from an auspicious start to keep his chase for history, taking out Kei Nishikori 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

 

WOMEN:

  • In an absolute stunner, 18-year old Canadian Leylah Fernandez eliminated defending champion Naomi Osaka in an upset for the ages on Arthur Ashe on Friday(9/3), 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-4.
  • American Solane Stephans fell to Angie  Kerber 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, who will now get her turn against Fernandez in the second round.
  • NO 1 seed Ash Barty was ousted on Saturday(9/4), falling to American Shelby Rodgers who was on her home soil 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5). A shocker nonetheless.

 

SWEET 16 Mens predictions(As per request)

 

Novak Djokovic vs Jenson  Brooksby (Wild-Card) (Prediction: Novak in four)

Dan Otte vs Mateo Berrettini (Prediction: Mateo in four)

Alexander Zverev vs Jared Sinner(Prediction: Zerev in 3)

22 seed Riley Opelka vs Lloyd Harris (Prediction: Harris is four)

Francis Tiafoe vs Felix Auger-Aliassime(Prediction: Francis in five)

Peter Gojowczyk vs Carlos Alcaraz(Prediction: Alcaraz in five)

Ben van de Zandschulp vs Diego Schwartzman (Prediction: Diego in five)

Dan Evans vs Danil Medvedev(Prediction: Medvedev in three)

 

 

ROUND 4(So far)

  • Ben de Van Zanschulp’s remarkable run continued defeating 11 seeded Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1. Ben lead 6-4, 6-4, 4-2, but Diego would rally and snatch the third set before saving two match points and taking the fourth set as well, before VDZ raised his level of tennis, and emerged victoriously.
  • It was a no-contest between Danil Medvedev and Dan Evans, with the two-seeded Russian cruising 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Medvedev has still yet to drop a set thus far in this tournament.
  • The sensational story of 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz continued on Sunday(9/5), moving on in another five-setter that went 3 hours in 32 minutes, 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.
  • Felix-Auger-Aliassime was able to KO Francis Tiafoe on his home-court 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-4. He will face Carlos in round four.

 

WOMEN:

  • 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez’s story only enlarged on Sunday(9/5), when she rallied past Angie Kerber  4-6, 7-6(5) 6-2.

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