Shocking First-Round Loss For Schwartzman

Original Post Published On The Jerusalem Post

After two straight US Open quarterfinals, Jewish-Argentine knocked out early • Djokovic cruises • Gauff ousted

Cameron Norrie of Great Britain battled back from two sets down and two match points to stun the US Open’s Argentine No. 9 seed, Diego Schwartzman 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 in a four-hour first-round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Monday night.
Schwartzman, the No. 13 in the world, experienced cramps on several occasions and took a fall up 3-2 in the fifth set that required treatment on his left hand by the trainer. The gregarious, proudly Jewish 28-year-old is a three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist. He reached the US Open quarterfinals in both 2017 and 2019, but couldn’t pull out the match against Norrie.

“I had a very bad day,” said Schwartzman after the match. “I was far from playing at the level that I showed many times here at the US Open. I took advantage of the early chances, but I was giving a lot physically and I started to get tired and cramped up a couple of times. In a normal year, when I am playing a lot, I do well, but it is much harder going a long time without competing. It was a very bad tournament for me and all I can do is try to improve for what is coming.”No. 76 Norrie spoke to the British media after the match.“I just had a phenomenal attitude and stayed patient with myself,” said Norrie. “I think my attitude won it for me today and my legs got me through it.”  Norrie had eleven aces to one for Schwarzman. The match broke a US Open record with 58 break points.Norrie advances to play Argentinian Federico Coria in the second round.  Players in the main draw earn $61,000 for appearing in the first round.  Male and female tournament winners earn $3 million.  Norrie has yet to win any titles.  He is 4-10 in Grand Slam matches and has reached the second round four times.

Schwartzman made news during last week’s ATP 2020 Western & Southern Open Masters 1000, which was also played on the grounds of the US Open.  He was upset when Argentine tennis players Guido Pella and Hugo Dellien were quarantined after their fitness trainer tested positive for COVID-19.

“They lied to our faces,” Schwarzman said angrily, “They said that there would be no retaliation for anyone who tested positive.”Relatedly, a number of competitors at the US Open expressed their frustration on Monday after they were moved into a so-called “bubble within a bubble” as they had been in contact with Frenchman Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

Tournament organizers quietly removed Paire from the draw on Sunday, with the Frenchman later confirming on social media that he had tested positive.French players Adrian Mannarino, Kristina Mladenovic and Edouard Roger-Vasselin were subsequently placed under an “enhanced protocol plan” for “players who might have been potentially exposed” to the virus, allowing them to continue competing in the tournament instead of withdrawing.

In other first-round action, Novak Djokovic needed less than two hours to continue his unbeaten season.The top-seeded Serbian routed Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in 1 hour, 58 minutes.The win was Djokovic’s 24th in as many matches this year. He won the Australian Open and three tournaments this year, including the Western & Southern Open in New York last week.

Djokovic saved six of the seven break points he faced against Dzumhur while converting six of his 18 break opportunities.A heavy favorite for the title with Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Switzerland’s Roger Federer absent, Djokovic will next face Kyle Edmund. The British player got past Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-0.In other matches, fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece demolished Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 in 98 minutes.

Maxime Cressy will get the next shot at Tsitsipas, as the American wild-card entrant produced his first victory in a Grand Slam event.Cressy, a 23-year-old UCLA product, beat Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.Fifth-seeded Alexander Zverev needed four sets to get past South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.Seventh-seeded David Goffin of Belgium eliminated the United States’ Reilly Opelka 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.Other seeded winners Monday included Israel-born No. 12 Denis Shapovalov of Canada, No. 19 Taylor Fritz of the United States, No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, No. 24 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, No. 26 Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, No. 27 Borna Coric of Croatia and No. 32 Adrian Mannarino of France.

In an all-United States matchup, Steve Johnson outlasted 16th-seeded John Isner 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (3). Isner fell despite an ace edge of 52-22.On the women’s side, Coco Gauff failed to make it past the first round as 31st-seeded Anastasija Sevastova defeated the 16-year-old sensation 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Gauff had a memorable run 12 months ago at age 15 when she recorded two wins at the US Open before losing to top-seeded Naomi Osaka in the third round.But the magic wasn’t there against the 30-year-old Sevastova, who was a US Open semifinalist in 2018 and reached the quarterfinals in both 2016 and 2017.Gauff committed 13 double faults and 41 unforced errors against 27 winners in the match at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

“I could’ve played better today, but I’m just going to get back to work and get ready for the French Open,” Gauff said of the event that begins Sepember. 21.Also, top-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic routed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine 6-4, 6-0.Fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka, two days after withdrawing from the Western & Southern Open final due to a hamstring injury, emerged with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over another Japanese player, Misaki Doi.

Sixth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova also was sharp with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.American Alison Riske, seeded 13th, got past Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-3, 6-2, No. 17 Angelique Kerber of Germany notched a 6-4, 6-4 win over Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic and No. 30 Kristina Mladenovic of France recorded a 7-5, 6-2 win over Hailey Baptiste.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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