NEW YORK — Two top-10 seeds on the men’s side stunned the first day of Monday’s US Open with early exits.
Galan was playing in the main draw for the first time and appeared right at home on tennis’s biggest stage. He won the opening 11 games as Tsitsipas struggled to find his usual finesse, winning just five of his serve points in the opener.
Tsitsipas had a coach take care of his right arm before the sixth game in the second set when he finally got on the board and again at the break before the third set when he broke Galan in the second game.
Tsitsipas, who never got past the third round in New York and was hoping to do better this year after reaching the Cincinnati final, lost just four of his points on first serve in the third set and looked like he had the momentum when he did break gallant again in the opening game of the fourth set.
But Galan never lost his composure, sending 41 winners throughout the competition and refusing to yield to his heavily favored opponent.
“I just stayed calm. I lost the set but I felt like I was getting better and better,” said Galan, who broke back in eighth place.
Next, Galan meets Australians Jordan Thompson in the second round.
Holt, 24, who is ranked at No. 303 in the world, received a qualifying wildcard at Flushing Meadows and made his tour debut against Fritz, the top-ranked American at No. 12.
Holt, who turned pro in 2020, wasn’t even sure he could continue playing tennis when he needed career-threatening surgery on his hand last year.
He did not play again for the remainder of 2021, only returning to action in January at the International Tennis Federation’s feeder circuit in Cancun, Mexico.
“I started the year ranking 900 or so after suffering an injury in my hand. I was away for about eight months. I basically had to start from scratch down there,” Holt told reporters. “I did well in my first three tournaments. I won all three in a row after a long break and a lot of hard work to recover. Yes, from there to here was a very rapid uptrend. Hopefully I can let it go.”
The doubles partners won the Australian Open together but ended up on opposite sides at the final Major of the year, where an in-form Kyrgios kept his great year on track and never paused in the battle of the ‘Special K’s’ at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “
“It was a nightmare, honestly, we never want to play each other,” Kyrgios said in an on-pitch interview. “I can’t wait to get out there and play doubles with him on the right side of the net.”
Reuters contributed to this report.