The US Open: Keep the momentum, please

In the first round, at the US Open, there have always been a number of terrific players who have lost early. On the hard courts in the hot summer, it can be difficult and keep up the momentum built during the North American swing.

Look what happened to No. 4 Dominic Thiem who lost to the Italian Thomas Fabbiano, 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2, with 48 unforced errors. Ugh.  

Then, Stefanos Tsitsipas went down, losing to another very good young players Andrey Rublev, 6-4 6-7 (5) 7-6 (7) 7-5. It was almost four hours, but Rublev hung in there, and he battled, constantly. But, then the Greek, Tsitsipas said he does not “feel inspired.”  He should not have said that.

Another top-10 player, Karen Khachanov, went down 4-6 7-5 7-5 4-6 6-3 to Canadian Vasek Pospisil. The Russian can be erratic, while when he is healthy. Pospisil can be extremely intelligent.

Do you want another seed who was ousted on Tuesday? Why not? Tenth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut was defeated by Mikhail Kukushkin 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3. Bautista Agut was physically tired.

How about a good one today: the struggling No. 6 Alexander Zverev, who won, when he beat Radu Albot 6-1 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-2. While the big hitter Zverev, has played so many five setters at the Slams, eventually, he can go down, when he is exhausted. If he wants to reach the second week, he had to bare down. They all have to.

Stephens gets bounced
When Sloane Stephens is feeling good, she can defeat anyone. But this year, her head is in trouble. In the first round, she lost to Russian Anna Kalinskaya 6-3 6-4. Stephens won the tournament two years ago, but now she didn’t survive the first round, at least in singles. She is just so confused. Who knows what her future will bring?

The No. 1 Naomi Osaka won, beating Anna Blinkova 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-2. Good enough. … Caroline Wozniacki won and she will now play American Danielle Collins. Quiet a toss-up. … The powerful Aryna Sabalenka upended Vika Azarenka 3-6 6-3 6-4, a tight match. Where Azarenka will go from here, nobody knows. … That was a gigantic win by American Alison Riske, who beat Garbine Muguruza 4-6 6-1 6-3. She can be really focused when she wants.

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