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US Open: India's Nagal sets up second round clash with world number three Thiem

AFP/New York
Filed on September 1, 2020
Dominic Thiem plays a return to Jaume Munar during the first round of the US Open. (AP)

Nagal became the first Indian man since 2013 to reach the second round of a Grand Slam event

Dominic Thiem was ushered into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday in a match cut short when opponent Jaume Munar retired after the second set.

Thiem now faces India's Sumit Nagal in the second round.

Nagal became the first Indian man since 2013 to reach the second round of a Grand Slam event with a 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Bradley Klahn of the United States.

Number two seed Thiem appeared to be heading towards victory after taking a two sets to love lead on the Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Munar abandoned before the start of the third set, with Austria's Thiem leading 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.

Thiem, 26, is chasing a first-ever Grand Slam singles title after a series of near-misses in recent years.

The Austrian right-hander lost the final of the Australian Open earlier this year and was also beaten in the final of the French Open in 2018 and 2019.

He has never gone beyond the quarterfinals of the US Open, where he reached the last eight in 2018.

Meanwhile, two-time Grand Slam singles winner Garbine Muguruza dedicated her first-round US Open win Tuesday to Carla Suarez Navarro after her compatriot revealed she had cancer.

Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion and 2017 Wimbledon winner, advanced to the second round at Flushing Meadows by beating Japan's Nao Hibino in straight sets.

The Spanish 10th seed needed 1hr 30min to complete a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Hibino, the world number 78.

After her win she immediately offered support to Navarro who said on Tuesday she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and will require six months of chemotherapy.

Navarro had pulled out of the US Open last week for medical reasons.

"When we spoke a few days ago when she gave me the news, I was, I think, shocked, because I was expecting to see her in this tournament," said Muguruza.

"You know, she's such a nice woman, so sweet, so kind, so humble. When these things happen to these good people, I feel, like, so sad about it.

"I for sure will dedicate this win to her because I want her to feel that we are behind her, that I am behind her, and I will go and see her at some point when it is fine," added the Spaniard.

Muguruza will face Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in the next round. Pironkova advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russia's Liudmila Samsonova.

In other early women's matches, 16th seed Elise Mertens of Belgium cruised into the second round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Germany's Laura Siegemund.

US hope Amanda Anisimova, seeded 22, also made sure of her place in the second round with a hard-fought win over Bulgaria's Viktoriya Tomova.

Anisimova prevailed 7-5, 7-5 in 1hr 27 minutes and now faces either Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia or compatriot Katrina Scott.






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