(August 29, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY -Thirty-nine players are representing the United States are playing in the US Open this year. Americans went 10-13 on day one of the US Open with a few five-set struggles for seeded men.
No. 20 seed John Isner had to rally past countryman 18-year-old wild card Frances Tiafoe 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in 3 hours and 27 minutes on the new Grandstand court. The 125th-ranked Tiafoe served for the match at 5-3 in the fifth set, but could not close it out.
“Experience is definitely on my side in that match, but sometimes experience is overrated,” Isner said .
“You know, I think in that instance I actually probably played the best return game I played all match.
“You know, he played very well, I thought, and he earned everything up to that point for sure. I just tried to stick with it. Was able to get back into that set at 5-4.
“Actually, even though I was pretty haggard out there, I got a jolt of energy when I got it back to 5-4.”
“Serving for it I thought I definitely had it,” said Tiefoe. “I thought I definitely thought the match was over, but he played a good return game. Didn’t make that many first serves that game. Probably should have played a higher percentage, but it’s tough.”
“Toughest loss of my career so far for sure. But, you know, think I’m getting over it now a little bit. I mean, not much to really say. It’s tough. I was so excited serving for it 5-3; the crowd is going nuts; I’m going nuts. You have so much adrenaline going.
“Come up a little short, it hurts.”
No. 26 seed Jack Sock stopped the comeback of fellow American and last year’s US Open Boys singles champion Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4. Sock made 73 errors in the win.
“Two for two,” said Sock who also beat the teenager in five-sets at the Australian Open. “Yeah, today was obviously a back-and-forth match. Two sets my way, two sets his way and then a battle in the fifth, but just happy to get through.
“I thought I came out and I thought I returned well the whole match. He’s got a great serve. He can really pop the first serve. Can’t be spotted well. It’s tough. I was able to get on a lot of second serves and put pressure on him I think. That paid off in the fifth getting up two breaks. Obviously didn’t help me too much when I gave them right back.”
Jack Sock withstood Taylor Fritz’s repeated comebacks to win the second five-set match between American men Monday at the U.S. Open.
Olympian Brian Baker using a protected ranking of No. 56 due to injuries, lost a five-set match for the first time after going up two sets to none when he fell to Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2,6-2.
“Anytime you lose a slam match it’s tough on the soul,” Baker said.
Despite his ups and downs with injuries, Baker still keeps going on. “I still enjoy playing,” he said. “Obviously it’s not much fun to lose a match like that, but I’m still trying to make my way back this year. When you are out as long as I have, only 8 months back and I really wasn’t as fit as I really wanted to be until May So really just trying to get my feet back under me so it’s really disappointing to lose a match like that. I know I should be getting better and better as the year goes on and into next year.”
Another heart-breaking five-set loss coming after going two sets up was wild card Mackenzie McDonald who won both the NCAA singles and doubles titles while attending UCLA. The former Bruin lost to Czech Jan Satral 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. This was the American’s debut at a major.
“I think there’s more positives to take from this match. Just thinking more about the experience,” he said. “You know that was my debut, I went five sets, my first five-set match. I think that this is just a long process. I think I’ve learned so much from doing this and experiencing this.”
McDonald plans to play challenger events to build his ranking up.
USTA Pro Circuit Challenge Winner Ernesto Escobedo Wins First Round Match at US Open for First Match Win at a Major
American qualifier Taylor Townsend had former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in trouble after winning the first set in the first-ever match on the new Grandstand. Wozniacki pulled it out 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 but Townsend the former No. 1 junior said she had chances.
“That really stings. I had so many chances,” said the Georgian.
“Overall, I just have to take the positive from it. This is definitely not satisfying for me. I want to continue, go back out, I mean, if I could I’d go back out on the practice court now. That’s just how I feel. Just to get better because I know that I’m so close.
“So that was just — that match proved a lot to me today, but I’m not satisfied at all.”
“There are a lot of different points that I feel like if I could have done something different or if I made a different decision that it could have maybe changed the outcome.
“Instead of getting broken, could have got broken. Instead of being down 30, could have been up 15-30 or 15-all. But that’s tennis. There are so many points during the match where it can go either way. You have to make a decision in a split second. Sometimes you make the right decision; sometimes you make the wrong decision.
“I have to learn from it. I can pick apart the match and tell you every little thing, but overall I’m just going to assess it, watch the film, learn from it, and keep moving.”
The USTA Girls’ 18s national champion Kayla Day from Santa Barbara Calif., won her first main draw match at a major when US countrywoman Madison Brengle retire with Day leading 6-2, 4-2. Day earned a spot in the US Open as the Girls National champion.
“There were a lot of nerves in the warm-up and first game, but after the first couple of games, I just felt really comfortable out there…. happy with that, she said. “It’s not always the best way to win, but I was happy with the way I was playing, and I was in control of the match.
“All my life, I dreamed about playing here, so I just told myself to go out and enjoy it today, that it would a good experience, no matter the result.”
Cathering “CiCi” Bellis, who made a splash in the 2014 US Open when as a 15-year-old she been seeded player Dominika Cibulkova is now two for two in first round matches at the US Open. Now 17, the qualifier beat Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-3.
Bellis talkd about the virtues of coming through qualifying:
“I think just playing actually three matches made me so much more comfortable, and knowing the surface of the courts and just playing on the courts in general is I think a big advantage for me.
“I think it’s better for me to come through qualifying rather than getting just a wildcard.”
Singles Results of United States players:
(26) Jack Sock d. Taylor Fritz 7-6(3), 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4
(DEN)Caroline Wozniacki(DEN) d. (Q)Taylor Townsend 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
(20) John Isner d. (WC) Frances Tiafoe 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3)
(13) (GBR)Johanna Konta(GBR) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands[WC] 6-3, 6-3
(24) (SUI)Belinda Bencic d. Samantha Crawford 6-7(6) 6-3, 6-4
Federico Delbonis(ARG) d. Brian Baker 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
(JPN)Naomi Osaka d. (28) Coco Vandeweghe 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4
(WC) Kayla Day d. Madison Brengle 6-2, 4-2 ret.
(Q)Catherine “CiCi” Bellis d. (SUI) Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-3
(WC) Ernesto Escobedo d. (SVK) Lukas Lacko 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3
(RUS) Evgeniya Rodina(RUS) d. (WC) Danielle Collins 6-1, 6-2
(ARG) Guido Pella d.(WC) Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Christina McHale d. (GER)Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-2
Shelby Rogers d. (27) (ITA) Sara Errani 6-4, 7-6(3)
(TUR) Cagla Buyukakcay(TUR) d. Irina Falconi 6-2, 6-1
(CZE)(Q)Jan Satral d. Mackenzie McDonald[WC] 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
(WC)Lauren Davis d. (BLR) Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
(Q) Ryan Harrison d. (FRA) Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3
(8) Madison Keys d. Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2