U.S. Open Day 1 recap: '14 runner-up Nishikori, Ivanovic upset in first round
NEW YORK – Catch up on the news and results from Day 1 at the 2015 U.S. Open.
Kei Nishikori loses in the first round to Benoit Paire: What a difference a year makes. Last year's finalist Nishikori fell in the first round to Paire, 6–4, 3–6, 4–6, 7–6(6), 6–4. With the loss, the World No. 4 will drop 1,190 ranking points. For Paire, the victory was the Frenchman's first top 5 win and marks the first time a defending finalist lost in the first round since Andre Agassi in 1991.
Last year's champion Marin Cilic fared better than his 2014 final opponent in his opening match, winning 6–3, 7–6(3), 7–6 (3) over qualifier Guido Pella.
Mardy Fish wins his opener in final U.S. Open: Put the retirement plans on hold. Playing in his first U.S. Open since withdrawing from the tournament before a fourth round match in 2012, Fish showed resilience to take down Italy's Marco Cecchinato, 6–7(5), 6–3, 6–1, 6–3. Fish was up a break and served for the first set, but faltered in the first set tiebreak. After requesting the Grandstand court for the match, Fish used the crowd's energy to regain control, stop Cecchinato's momentum and finish out the match strong. He'll face No. 18 seed Feliciano Lopez, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili on Monday, in the second round.
No. 7 seed Ana Ivanovic falls in the first round: After No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova's withdrawal from the tournament on Sunday, Ivanovic began her tournament as the highest seed remaining in her quarter. But Dominika Cibulkova, who was sidelined for five months of the season after surgery on her Achilles heel in February, came out firing and took the first set. Ivanovic fought back to win the second, but 2014 Australian Open finalist Cibulkova closed it out in the third set. It's Cibulkova's second Top 10 win since returning to the the Tour in July and she's into the second round for the first time since 2012.
Take a listen to the final call on match point on Ashe as Cibulkova gets the upset:
More seeds drop out on the women's side: After Ivanovic lost in the first match of the day on Ashe, the upsets kept rolling in. Qualifier Anna Tatishvili steam rolled No. 8 Karolina Pliskova, 6–2, 6–1 and wildcard Oceane Dodin upset No. 21 Jelena Jankovic, 2–6, 7–5, 6–3. Carla Suarez Navarro also dropped out, as Denisa Allertova earned a 6-1, 7-6(5) win over the No. 10 seed. The losses completely open up Serena Williams's half of the draw before the No. 1 seed even takes the court in the first match on Arthur Ashe on Monday night, as she is the only Top 10 seed remaining in the top half of the draw. No. 13 Ekaterina Makarova and No. 17 Elina Svitolina won on Monday, with No. 25 Eugenie Bouchard yet to play.
Novak Djokovic cruises into second round: Top-seeded Djokovic needed just 71 minutes to win his first-round match on Monday, beating Joao Souza 6–1, 6–1, 6–1. He didn't face a single break point.
CoCo Vandeweghe knocks out Sloane Stephens in straight sets: Vandeweghe took down Stephens 6–4, 6–3 to advance to the second round, but it was her mid-match interview with ESPN's Pam Shriver that had the people talking. Vandeweghe plays Bethanie Mattek-Sands next and the winner of their match could meet Serena in the third round.
Venus Williams toughs out a three-set win over Monica Puig: Venus was forced to work harder than she would've like in her opening match against Puerto Rico's Puig, but she was able to improve to 17–0 in first round U.S. Open matches with a 6–4, 6–7 (7), 6–3 win. The 35-year-old Venus, the oldest woman in the field, had a chance to serve out the second set, but Puig saved four match points in the tiebreaker. The win took two hours, 40 minutes and Venus will face fellow American Irina Falconi in the second round.
American Lauren Davis scores her first U.S. Open win: The 21-year-old downed Britain's No. 1 Watson in straight sets on Monday, winning 7–6(3), 7–6(0). Watson has won just one main draw match since her Wimbledon match against Serena Williams.
More notable results: Grigor Dimitrov d. Matthew Ebden, 6–4, 6–2, 6–4; Andreas Seppi d. Tommy Paul, 6–4, 6–0, 7–5; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. Jarkko Nieminen 6–3, 6–1, 6–1; Madison Brengle d. Saisai Zheng, 6–2, 5–7, 7–5; Kristina Mladenovic d. Svetlana Kutznetsova 6–3, 7–5; Agnieszka Radwanska d. Katerina Siniakova 6–2, 6–3.
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This post will be updated.