Fabulous Fabbiano stuns Thiem in US Open first round

Dominic Thiem’s latest bid for Grand Slam glory came to an abrupt end at the US Open on Tuesday when he fell to unseeded Thomas Fabbiano 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2 in a shock first-round exit, the biggest upset of the men’s competition so far.

Aug 27, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Thomas Fabbiano of Italy reacts after beating Dominic Thiem of Austria in the first round on day two of the 2019 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 27, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Thomas Fabbiano of Italy reacts after beating Dominic Thiem of Austria in the first round on day two of the 2019 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The fourth-seeded Austrian’s blistering serve yielded 14 aces but it was not enough to overcome the 30-year-old Fabbiano, whose fearsome forehand helped him save nine out of the 10 break points he faced.

The 25-year-old Thiem did himself no favours, committing 48 unforced errors during the match at Arthur Ashe Stadium, 28 more than his Italian opponent.

For Thiem, who toppled Roger Federer earlier this year in the final at Indian Wells, the loss marks the latest frustration in his bid to claim a Grand Slam title.

Thiem was beaten by the King of Clay, Rafa Nadal in the 2018 and 2019 French Open finals, as well as in their quarter-final match at last year’s US Open.

Meanwhile, Russian Andrey Rublev used a steady stream of power from the baseline to upset eighth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 7-5 and reach the second round.

World number 43 Rublev, who two weeks ago earned the biggest win of his career when he beat Roger Federer in the third round at Cincinnati, attacked Tsitsipas with a barrage of all-in forehands and broke his opponent five times in the match.

Rublev displayed near flawless judgment with his shotmaking throughout the match and while Tsitsipas tried to lure him off the baseline, the Russian stuck to his gameplan to prevail in a battle of 21-year-olds that lasted nearly four hours.

Up next for Rublev, who reached the US Open quarter-finals in 2017, will be either Frenchman Gilles Simon or American wildcard Bjorn Fratangelo.

Holder Osaka survives Blinkova test

In the women’s side, Naomi Osaka was given a testing workout by Anna Blinkova as she began the defence of her title on Tuesday but the world number one’s power and shot making ultimately proved too much as she prevailed 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2.

Fabulous Fabbiano stuns Thiem in US Open first round ảnh 1

Aug 27, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan gestures to the crowd after beating Anna Blinkova of Russia in the first round on day two of the 2019 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The unseeded Blinkova raced into a 4-1 lead in the first set and a shock appeared to be in the works but Osaka cut down her errors to win five straight games and take the opener.

The tenacious Blinkova refused to back down, however, saving a match point on Osaka’s serve in the second before breaking her to set up a tiebreak, which the Russian won when Osaka sent a return into the net.

The 21-year-old Japanese responded by looking to her box and mimicked putting a gun to her head and pulling the trigger.

Osaka stayed composed in the third, however, breaking Blinkova to take a 3-1 lead before sealing the first-round win with a blistering forehand that caught the line.

It was an erratic performance for Osaka, who committed an unsightly 50 unforced errors, 28 more than her opponent, but also blasted 44 winners and pounded eight aces.

Next up for Osaka is a second round meeting with Poland’s Magda Linette on Thursday.

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep snapped a string of early exits with a 6-3 3-6 6-2 victory over American lucky loser Nicole Gibbs on Tuesday to reach the second round.

The Romanian fourth seed, who fell at the first hurdle in New York the last two years, looked to be heading for yet another early exit but came out firing after losing the second set to Gibbs.

The 135th-ranked Gibbs had six set points while serving at 5-2 in the second but Halep coolly turned each one aside before winning the game only for her opponent to break right back and force a decider.

Halep then perked up as she opened the third set with a break and raced out to a commanding 5-1 lead that proved too big a hole for Gibbs, who failed to qualify for the US Open but entered the main draw after other participants withdrew.

Up next for Halep, who is vying to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2012 to follow a Wimbledon win with a US Open triumph, will be American qualifier Taylor Townsend.

Reuters