US Open: Tsitsipas denies Murray heroic win in five-set epic at Flushing Meadows

By Sports Desk August 30, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas was able to breathe a sigh of relief on Arthur Ashe Stadium after the third seed rallied past former world number one Andy Murray 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a thrilling five-set battle.

French Open runner-up Tsitsipas and 2012 champion Murray was one of the standout matches in the opening round at Flushing Meadows and the near-five-hour showdown did not disappoint as the latter turned back the clock in New York on Monday.

Murray's career has been devastated by injuries – the 34-year-old underwent hip resurfacing in 2019 but he has continued to be plagued by fitness problems.

However Murray, who only had one pair of shoes, soaking wet with sweat, took a positive approach from the start and earned a surprise two-sets-to-one lead against the slam hopeful.

Murray, though, was made to rue his inability to capitalise on two set points at 6-4 in the second-set tie-break – leaving the door open for world number three Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas held his nerve as the prospect of a first-round boilover beckoned, but it was not without controversy after the Greek star took his time in the bathroom between the fourth and fifth seeds, frustrating Murray.

It is the first time in 15 US Open appearances world number 112 Murray lost in the opening round in New York.

"It is not easy," Tsitsipas – who celebrated his ATP Tour-leading 49th victory of the year – said in his on-court interview. "I had to make lots of sacrifices to come back.

"I think the atmosphere was great today, with a lot of positive tennis. The New York crowd is known to be one of the best crowds in the world.

"The fact we are able to compete out here with an electric crowd today is something we have been waiting for."

Tsitsipas, who will meet Adrian Mannarino in the second round, added: "I hope I am able to keep my game at the same level as I managed today.

"Hopefully I will be back here on this court."

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    That panned out ideally, meaning a busy stadium crowd got to see Williams and five-time grand slam mixed doubles champion Murray pair up for a late-evening tussle, three years after their siblings Serena Williams and Andy Murray also joined forces at Wimbledon.

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    This was a third career meeting in tournament action for the pair, with both previous encounters having come at the Serbia Open. Kecmanovic took the opener against Djokovic before slumping to defeat when they played in Belgrade in April, but this was a rout, the 22-year-old underdog trampled.

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    Djokovic – 36/19
    Kecmanovic– 13/27

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Djokovic – 6/4
    Kecmanovic – 1/5

    BREAK POINTS WON
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    Kecmanovic - 1/4

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