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US Open: I have lost respect for him, Murray slams Tsitsipas after first-round epic

AFP/New York
Filed on August 31, 2021
Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas (left) shakes hands with Britain's Andy Murray after winning their US Open first round match. (AFP)

Osaka, seeking her third US Open crown, defeated 87th-ranked Czech Marie Bouzkova


Defending champion Naomi Osaka stretched her Grand Slam win streak to 16 matches on Monday at the US Open while Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas struggled past Andy Murray in five sets.

Osaka, seeking her third US Open crown in four years, defeated 87th-ranked Czech Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-1 at a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium to book a second-round matchup with Serbian qualifier Olga Danilovic.

"It feels kind of crazy to play in front of everyone again," Osaka said. "I feel really comfortable here. I'm just glad I won."

Tsitsipas outlasted Britain's Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, by 2-6, 7-6 (9/7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 after four hours and 49 minutes in surroundings more like an intense second-week showdown than a curtain-raiser for the fortnight.

"To have an electric atmosphere out here is something we've been waiting for," Tsitsipas said.

Two-time Olympic champion Murray, ranked 112th lost for the first time in 15 first-round US Open matches.

"It didn't come easy," Tsitsipas said.

Tsitsipas, this year's French Open runner-up, took a long break before the final set, frustrating Murray, who surrendered a break in the opening game. Delay tactics brought a frosty reception at the net after the match.

"I have zero time for that stuff at all and I lost respect for him," Murray said. "It's nonsense. And he knows it, as well."

Tsitsipas, who plays Frenchman Adrian Mannarino next, said he followed ATP rules on breaks and medical timeouts, even as Murray questioned the length and timing.

"I'm playing by the rules and sticking to what the ATP says is fair," said Tsitsipas. "Then the rest is fine."

In the second-set tie-breaker, Murray slipped at the net and fell because his sweat-soaked shoes were wet and he didn't have another pair. Murray missed out on two set points and the 23-year-old Greek star won five of the next six points to grab the set and level the match.

"The shoes got so wet that at the end of the set, I was slipping basically and was losing balance," Murray said. "That was my bad. It was an important moment in the match."

Murray broke in the second game of the third set and held out from there, but Tsitsipas took the last two sets to advance.

Crowd energy returns

Spectators had to show proof of vaccination to attend but they brought energy back to Ashe.

"Playing without fans here was brutal," 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens said. "Having these fans out and the energy, the atmosphere, it brings a lot back to tennis."

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep and Stephens each won to reach the second round.

"You feel the energy. You feel alive on court," Halep said. "Hopefully it will stay like that forever."

Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 for his 200th career match win and 160th win on hardcourts.

Women's second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus outlasted Serbia's Nina Stojanovic 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-0 while Russian men's fifth seed Andrey Rublev ousted 221st-ranked Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.





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