- Fifth and seventh seeds exit
- Djokovic eases through
- Impressive show from USA trio
In a surprising turn of events at the US Open, both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud, the seventh and fifth seeds respectively, suffered shock second-round defeats. Tsitsipas fought hard but ultimately lost to Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker in a five-set match, while Ruud fell to Chinese player Zhang Zhizhen in a five-set battle as well.
Djokovic marches on as Tsitsipas and Ruud exit
Meanwhile, second seed Novak Djokovic had a smooth journey to the next round with a dominant victory over Bernabe Zapata Miralles. Djokovic is aiming to tie Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles and was already considered a strong contender to reach the final.
With Tsitsipas and Ruud’s unexpected exits, Djokovic’s path to the final seems even clearer. His competition in his draw section has diminished, with other high seeds such as Danish fourth seed Holger Rune also making an early exit.
Djokovic expressed his satisfaction with his performance so far, noting that he believes he can still improve. His dedication and hunger for success remain strong even at 36 years old. He emphasised his focus on internal battles, stating that overcoming himself mentally is crucial to defeating opponents on the court.
Looking ahead, Djokovic is set to face compatriot Laslo Djere in the next round. The American ninth seed, Taylor Fritz, is another potential opponent for Djokovic in the quarter-finals after his decisive victory over Juan Pablo Varillas.
Fritz, Tiafoe and Paul go through
As for the American contingent, four players secured victories on Wednesday, including Fritz. The host nation is hoping for a homegrown men’s champion, with the last one being Andy Roddick in 2003. Frances Tiafoe, the tenth seed, also triumphed in straight sets, while Tommy Paul, the 14th seed, made an impressive comeback from being two sets down to defeat Roman Safiullin of Russia.
Additionally, there was an unfortunate situation involving Dominic Thiem, the 2020 champion. Thiem, who had been recovering from a wrist injury that kept him out of play for 10 months, faced Ben Shelton. Shelton won the first set in a close contest, but Thiem was forced to retire early in the second set due to illness.
Bettors should note that the early eliminations of Tsitsipas and Ruud, potentially make Djokovic’s path to the final smoother, with both men being in the same half of the draw as the number two seed, who is in excellent form.