New York, Aug 30 (IANS) World No.3, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, will aim to begin his quest for a maiden Grand Slam later on Monday when he takes on former champion, Britain’s Andy Murray, in the US Open opening-round match at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The last time Tsitsipas squared off against a Grand Slam champion at a major, he came up agonisingly short, having led Serbia’s Novak Djokovic two sets to love in the French Open final in June. That defeat lingered as the Greek fell to American Frances Tiafoe in the first round at Wimbledon a fortnight later, but has since rediscovered his form on North American hard courts, with back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati.
“He’s someone that has been putting a lot of work to get back and has been playing very good tennis to be standing where he’s at right now. I think I’m going to go for it, try my chances against him,” Tsitsipas said of Murray.
“He’s someone that won’t give up. I’ll have to bring some good tennis from my side,” the Greek player told atptour.com.
Murray, having contested only seven tour-level singles events this year on his road back from hip surgery, tested Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and Tiafoe in respective second-round meetings in Cincinnati and Winston-Salem leading to the US Open. Nine years since his first major triumph in New York (2012), the 34-year-old world No. 112 would aim for nothing less than an upset win on Day 1.
“The positive thing in the past few months is that I haven’t been held back really from what I can do on the practice court,” Murray said. “It is the matches where you need to ultimately go out there and perform. That’s what’s been frustrating the past few weeks.”
Second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia opens his campaign on Monday against Richard Gasquet, in the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Two years ago, Medvedev surged back from two sets down and pushed Spaniard Rafael Nadal to a fifth set in his maiden Grand Slam final at Flushing Meadows.
While he ultimately came up short, Medvedev reaffirmed his hard-court credentials when he won 15 straight sets to reach the semifinals last year. Eventual champion Dominic Thiem of Austria ended his run there. However, he reached a second major final at this year’s Australian Open but lost to Djokovic. Medvedev found form leading into this year’s US Open with his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto and a semifinal appearance in Cincinnati.
“Now I have two finals, [I] need to win, to make a better result at a Slam,” Medvedev said.
“I was playing well in both Toronto and Cincinnati, quite similar conditions, hot, humid. I just want to continue [at] this level. When I play well, I know that I can cause trouble to my opponents. That’s the most important.”