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US Open 2013 Day 1: Heroics from Evans as Sloane survives

Dan Evans on his way to beating Kei Nishikori at the US Open
by Alexandra Willis at Flushing Meadows
Tuesday 27 August 2013

Wimbledon.com's highlights from the opening day's play at the 2013 US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York...

Upset of the day

Dan Evans [Q] d. Kei Nishikori [11] 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
Another chapter in the evolution of the Brit, who has always been the first to admit that he has not worked as hard as his talent warrants, as he achieved his first main draw win at a Grand Slam outside of Wimbledon. " I knew I was a good player, but I just hadn't put it all together.  I was pretty calm today.  It wasn't like  wasn't that much of a big deal what was happening on the court.  I wasn't nervous serving it out."

29th seed Magdalena Rybarikova was another seed to fall, to lucky loser Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, while 30th seed Ernests Gulbis passed up on a golden opportunity, ousted by Andreas Haider-Maurer in five sets.

Shot of the day
Rafael Nadal's overhead winner on the run off a Ryan Harrison smash.

Big win

Sloane Stephens d. Mandy Minella 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5)
It's impossible to walk around Flushing Meadows without running into at least one poster, billboard or some other sort of collateral containing Sloane Stephens. So you can imagine the reaction as Stephens fell a set behind Mandy Minella, a relatively unknown Luxembourger who used to be better-known for the fact that she once went out with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Stephens battled back, eventually sneaking the win 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), but it was a close-run thing.

Honorary mention to...
Bernard Tomic d. Albert Ramos 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-3
Pity the Australian tennis fraternity, who were put through the wringer by their leading light. But Tomic came good in the end, recovering from a two sets to one deficit to see off Ramos and reach the second round.

Comedy moment of the day
When being thumped by an opponent who doesn't let you put a foot right, what do you need? A hug. So Francesca Schiavone, on the wrong end of a Serena Williams bagel, went and got herself one from a ball boy.  

Easy does it
No first round ruffles for... Li Na, Laura Robson, Carla Suarez Navarro, Richard Gasquet, Sabine Lisicki, Yaroslava Shvedova, Venus Williams, Paula Ormaechea, Stephane Robert, Urszula Radwanska, Maria Torro-Flor, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Mikhail Kukushkin, Zheng Jie, Ashleigh Barty, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Jelena Jankovic.

Home hopes
While Lauren Davis became the first player to exit the 2013 US Open in spectacular double bagel fashion, there were better fortunes for other Americans on the bill today, as Jamie Hampton joined Venus Williams, advanced into the second round. If all goes according to seeding, she is set to meet fellow fortune-hunter Sloane Stephens in the third round, which could be very entertaining.  Coco Vandeweghe also joined in the winners' circle, beating fellow qualifier Alexandra Krunic. Vania King though was bundled out in three by 25th seed Kaia Kanepi, and Shelby Rogers was outplayed by Caroline Garcia.

There was rather less good news for the American men, with losses for Ryan Harrison, Michael Russell, and Rhyne Williams, who lost in five sets. The lone male winner was Bradley Klahn, who sneaked past Kenny De Schepper in four tight sets.

Feel-good of the day
Alisa Kleybanova won her first Grand Slam match since the 2011 Australian Open and her subsequent diagnosis and treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The Russian beat Monica Puig in three sets and beamed from ear to ear.

Quote of the day
Q. Who do you think is going to win the tournament? 

ERNESTS GULBIS: Haider-Maurer.

Sarcasm wins.

Stat of the day
64 - 63

Fernando Verdasco's winners to unforced error count during his five-set loss to Ivan Dodig which was both surprising and unsurprising at the same time.

Did-you-see of the day?
Venus Williams's hair. The former champion, who made short work of Kirsten Flipkens, 6-1, 6-2 in the second match on Arthur Ashe, sported a hot-pinky purple weave in a very heavy-looking plait.

It's not quite goodbye yet, but it will be soon for James Blake, the former world No.4, who today announced his retirement from tennis when this tournament concludes.  

Come back tomorrow for...

Arthur Ashe
11am - Petra Kvitova v Misaki Doi
Fb - Caroline Wozniacki v Ying-Ying Duan
Fb - John Isner v Filippo Volandri.

7pm - Novak Djokovic v Ricardas Berankis
Fb - Victoria Azarenka v Dinah Pfizenmaier

Louis Armstrong
11am Thomas Fabbiano v Milos Raonic
Fb - Guido Pella v Sam Querrey
Fb - Olivia Rogowska v Sara Errani
Fb - Victoria Duval v Samantha Stosur

11am - Ana Ivanovic v Anna Tatishvili
Fb - Julia Goerges v Christina McHale
Fb - Jack Sock v Philipp Petzschner
Fb - Paolo Lorenzi v Tomas Berdych

Adrian Ungur v Gael Monfils, second on Court 17
Heather Watson v Simona Halep, fourth on Court 11
Maria Kirilenko v Yanina Wickmayer, first on Court 7


For all the reports and results from Flushing Meadows, visit the Official US Open website


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