Top seeds Tsitsipas, Fritz upset early at US Open

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NEW YORK — Two top-10 seeds on the men’s side were stunned with early exits Monday in the first day of the US Open.

Colombian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan shocked fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 in an epic first-round showdown, winning the affair on the ninth match point.

And American qualifier Brandon Holt, the son of two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin, stunned compatriot and 10th seed Taylor Fritz 6-7(3), 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4 in just over three hours.

Playing in the main draw for the first time, Galan appeared right at home on tennis’ biggest stage, claiming the first 11 games as Tsitsipas struggled to find any of his usual finesse and won just five of his service points in the first set.

Tsitsipas had a trainer tend to his right arm before the sixth game in the second set, when he finally got on the board, and again during the break before the third set, when he broke Galan in the second game.

Tsitsipas, who has never gotten past the third round in New York and had hoped to do better this year after reaching the Cincinnati final, dropped only four of his first-serve points in the third set and looked as though he had the momentum when he broke Galan again in the opening game of the fourth set.

But Galan never lost his composure, sending across 41 winners throughout the entire contest and refusing to give into his heavily favored opponent.

“I just stayed calm. I lost the set but I felt I was doing better and better,” said Galan, who broke back in the eighth.

Dripping with sweat and with the crowd inside Louis Armstrong Stadium egging them on, Galan nearly broke Tsitsipas for the match five times in the 10th game, and finally got the job done in the 12th, gazing at the stands with disbelief.

“I can’t explain how I feel right now,” he said after the match. “I went through the match well.”

He next faces Australian Jordan Thompson in the second round.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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