9th seeded Argentinean Diego Schwartzman was the first seed to go down, blowing a 2-set advantage.
Day 1 of the U.S.Open went off with few glitches and just a few surprises, as the players stayed in their bubble and the world looked in from the outside. Californian Stevie Johnson took down top American John Isner 7-6 in the fifth, for his 6th victory out of 10 matches with the former Georgia star. Jack Sock followed up his first win in 13 months last February in Delray Beach with his own 7-6 in the fifth triumph over Pablo Cuevas. Sock, along with other first round winners will bank a nifty $100,000 for their singular win. Other Americans in action included Taylor Fritz, who moved on with a 4-set victory over Dominik Koepfer, Marcos Giron who needed 5 sets to push aside Marc Pohlmans, Brandon Nakashima who made quick work of Paolo Lorenzi, and Mitchell Kreuger, who took out Pedro Sousa. American transplants Michael Mmoh and Maxim Cressy also came out on top on Monday.
Other Yanks who did not fare so well included Reilly Opelka who fell to 7th seeded David Goffin, Sebastian Korda, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, and Ulises Blanch, who all took home $61,000 as first-round losers. Still to play their first round matches are Mackie McDonald, who takes on Casper Ruud, Frances Tiafoe, who will do battle with Andreas Seppi, J.J. Wolf, who will tangle with Guido Pella, Tennys Sandgren, who will combat Roberto Bautista Agut, Sam Querrey who plays Andrey Kuznetsov, Denis Kudla, who is set up to match wits with Marin Cilic, Tommy Paul, who will fight Grigor Dimitrov, and Bradley Klahn, who will try to slay Sumit Nagal. Although the Americans don’t appear to be too likely to challenge for a title here at this time, it is the first time I’ve seen over twenty Yanks in the Men’s draw in well over a decade.
One upset on the Men’s side yesterday occurred when 9th seeded Argentinean Diego Schwartzman took the first two sets convincingly over Brit Cam Norrie, and then totally fell apart, losing the last three sets 6-2, 6-1, 7-5. Schwartzman appeared so upset that he sat alone, forlornly licking his wounds in the stands for hours after the five set match concluded. Belarussian Egor Gerasimov, ranked #72, slid by Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic, the 18th seed, in four pretty quick sets, in a bit of a surprise, as the rest of the Men’s draw went pretty much as expected. The bottom half begins play today, and it would surprise me if that part of the draw goes as smoothly as the top half went yesterday – there appear to be more question marks in this half.