First-round play at the U.S, Open wrapped up as the top half of the men's draw took to the courts. Top seed Novak Djokovic, fourth seed Alexander Zverev, sixth seed Matteo Berrettini and seventh seed Denis Shapovalov were among those advancing to the second round.
Djokovic tested; Zverev, Berrettini, Shapovalov ease through
Djokovic's quest for the calendar-year Grand Slam got off to a surprising start as he was tested by Holger Rune, defeating the Danish teenager 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-1 in two hours and 15 minutes.
After being routed by the 20-time major champion in the opening set, Rune rallied by playing aggressive, confident tennis to claim the second set in a tiebreaker before fading in the final two sets with cramps.
"You are still feeling a little rusty at the beginning", Djokovic said. "Started great. Played a really, really good first set. Everything was working well, but then I just lost the first serve.
"Credit to him for fighting. He had the crowd behind him. Obviously, i'm pleased with the way I finished the match. Again, it was not a fair battle with his unfortunate injury and cramping."
Rune said the cramping began in the third set: "Unfortunately, my fitness let me down. I started cramping already in the beginning. From there on, it was tough.
"I knew if I [wanted] to win, I had to fight for every point. With my body at this point, it's impossible."
Zverev ran his winning streak this summer to 12 straight matches with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Sam Querrey as he hit 36 winners and broke the American four times in the one hour, 39 minute match.
"It's great to be back", he said. "I still remember last year's final. I still remember the four-hour match that I lost, unfortunately. It's great to be back on Arthur Ashe Stadium and have the fans back. We definitely missed them last year."
Berrettini, a semifinalist in 2019, defeated the dangerous Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-3, blasting 37 winners to just 15 unforced errors in the two hour, 31 minute contest.
"I think it was a good match", he said. "Before stepping on [court], I knew it would be tough for so many reasons. First of all, because Jeremy is a great player.
"I know he can play really good, especially on these courts. They are really fast. He is really tricky to play."
Shapovalov, coming off of a run to the Wimbledon semifinals, had on issues in dispatching Federico Delbonis 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. The Canadian won 87 percent of his first-serve points against the Argentine to advance in one hour and 48 minutes.
"It's always tough to come out in the first match", he said. "It is a place I have always played well, but you don't know what form you will be in. There are a lot of tough games I was able to win.
"I am very happy to just capitalize on these chances and I am so happy to be back here with all of the fans."
Other seeded results
10th seed Hubert Hurkacz had no problems with Egor Gerasimov 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, 13th seed and Washington champion Jannik Sinner beat wild card Max Purcell 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
17th seed Gael Monfils routed Federico Coria 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, 21st seed Aslan Karatsev needed four sets to defeat Jaume Munar 7-5, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 and the same for 31st seed Alexander Bublik, a 6-0, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victor over Yannick Hanfmann.
Seeded losers were 20th seed Lorenzo Sonego to qualifier Oscar Otte 6-7 (8), 7-5, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1), 25th seed Karen Khachanov, knocked out by Lloyd Harris 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and 28th seed Fabio Fognini blowing a two-set lead to Vasek Pospisil 2-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
It was a tremendous day for American men with 22nd seed Reilly Opelka leading the way as he defeated Soon-woo Kwon 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4. Three Americans also pulled off upsets of seeded players.
Qualifier Maxime Cressy blasted 44 aces in a 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7) victory over ninth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, Taylor Fritz eliminated 14th seed Alex de Minaur 7-6 (4), 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 and Mackenzie McDonald ousted 27th seed David Goffin 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.
Also moving on were wild cards Jensen Brooksby, a 7-5, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 winner over Mikael Ymer, Jack Sock, triumphing over Yoshihito Nishioka 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, Zachary Svajda, a surprise 7-6 (8), 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 winner over Marco Cecchinato and Ernesto Escobedo routing Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.
Eliminated were Tennys Sandgren, bowing out to Winston-Salem champion Ilya Ivashka 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4, Tommy Paul to Roberto Carballes Baena 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 and Sebastian Korda, forced to retire trailing Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2, 2-1.
2013 finalist Kei Nishikori got past Salvatore Caruso 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 and Corentin Moutet straight-setted Stefano Travaglia 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (3).
Tallon Griekspoor outlasted Jan-Lennard Struff 2-6, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, Jordan Thompson edged Gianluca Mager 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (3). Albert Ramos-Vinolas battled past Lucas Pouille 6-1, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 and Andreas Seppi won the longest fifth-set tiebreaker in tournament history with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (13) win over Marton Fucsovics.