Cincinnati Tennis in New York: Upsets Continue as Murray Stuns Zverev and Jabeur Takes Down Defending Champ Keys, Serena, Djokovic Win Opening Matches
(August 24, 2020) Upsets were par for the course on Monday at the Western & Southern Open, taking place at the site of the US Open. Two of the many stunners were Andy Murray taking down fifth seed Alex Zverev and Ons Jabeur dismissed No. 7 seed and defending champion Madison Keys.
The man from Scotland, Murray had the biggest win of his comeback from a second hip surgery when he beat Zverev 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. The German served for the match at 5-4 in the third and he lost control of his serve, double-faulting three times.
“I’m satisfied to get through it against a top player having not played for such a long time and I get another opportunity to compete again tomorrow,” said Murray.
“Obviously it was a big one to get through, I think. If I put myself — if I had lost the match from being 4-1 up in the third, you know, having opportunities and kind of the way that I played to go down, you know, from 4-1 to 5-4 was obviously not very good.”
“I was satisfied obviously to get through it, get a win against a top player after having not played for such a long time.”
“I think it was not the best match I have ever played, but after six months off, it’s not easy to come back,” Zverev said.
Second seed Dominic Theim also lost early and badly to Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-1 in the second round.
“It was just a horrible game by myself,” said the Austrian. “Didn’t play well at all. Didn’t get any rhythm.
“Well, I felt like I didn’t win any points on his serve. I had really troubles with returning. And, well, it’s tough to understand right now, but, well, I will think about it, and hopefully I’ll find better answers in the next days.”
Top seed Novak Djokovic had a few problems with his neck, but put away Ricardis Berankis 7-6, 6-4.
“It’s been now four days, but it has been moving in the right direction,” Djokovic said of his injury.” Obviously it’s not yet where I would like it to be, but it’s heading in that direction.
“Hopefully it will not react with, I guess, big inflammation after tonight’s match. I don’t know how it’s going to react. Hopefully not that bad. We’re going to do everything possible with physiotherapists, and then let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
His injury forced him to withdraw from the doubles on Sunday.
Defending champion Daniil Medvedev made it to the third round with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Marcus Giron.
Other men’s upsets on the day included No. 9 seed Diego Schwartzman, No. 14, Grigor Dimitrov, No. 12 Dennis Shapovalov and No. 15 Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Third seed Serena Williams eked out a 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (0) win over Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus. Both women served for the match at one point, Williams shut out Rus in the third set tiebreak. The match lasted two hours and 49 minutes.
“At some point it’s (her play) going to get better,” Williams said. “I don’t feel like I am doing anything bad. I just think that — I mean, we scouted her match. She just did not play like that.
“It’s kind of interesting. So I just hopefully keep going. That’s it. Nothing I can do about it.”
“Physically I feel like I’m incredibly fit. I did hit a wall today in the second set. I was so hot. That never happens.
“So I think physically I’m fit. Tennis is mental.”
It will be a very hard-hitting battle when the American plays Maria Sakkari of Greece in the round of 16.
Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur ended the hopes of defending champion and No. 7 Madison Keys 6-4, 6-1 in the last match of the night.
Another woman’s seed exiting on Monday was No. 6 Petra Kvitova.
Playing her first tennis since the stoppage due to the pandemic, Japan’s Naomi Osaka rallied Karolina Muchova 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2.
Honestly, I was really nervous,” Osaka said of her slow start. “So I didn’t feel that free, and I had a lot of doubts in my mind in the first set. But I think in the second set I felt more, like, at peace with myself. I don’t know. I realized that, like, that there are certain balls that I need to go for.
“So for me I feel like I just learned a lot throughout the entire course of the match, and hopefully it’s something that I can do at a quicker time rate.”
More to follow…