Day One results from Flushing Meadows are here. The U.S. Open 2015 kicked off with an upset on Monday. Last year’s runner-up Kei Nishikori was stunned 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 by World No 41 France’s Benoît Paire. This is the first time a defending finalist failed in the opener since Andre Agassi lost to Aaron Krickstein in 1991.
The World No 4 Japanese defeated top seed Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka in his dream-run to the finals last season.
The 25-year-old Japanese missed the recently concluded Cincinnati Masters due to an injury, and on Monday he faded away in the final set after failing to convert two match-points in the fourth set.
Paire made the decisive final break in the fifth game of the final set. The Frenchman won his first ATP title in Bastad this summer.
“It’s always very sad to lose in the first round, but I think he was playing good tennis,” Nishikori said. “I don’t think I played badly. Didn’t play great, but still, it’s never easy first match.”
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Defending champion Marin Cilic posted a much better show than his last year’s rival in the finals, winning 6–3, 7–6(3), 7–6 (3) over qualifier Guido Pella.
Milos Raonic, struggling with injury, defeated Tim Smyczek 6-4, 7-6, 6-1 in another match of the day.
Top-seed Novak Djokovic rolled to the second round on Monday by blowing away Joao Souza 6–1, 6–1, 6–1 in just 71 minutes. 9-time-French Open winner Rafael Nadal to reached the second round.
In the women’s singles, 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova staged a stunning comeback by defeating Ana Ivanovic.
Earlier, Maria Sharapova withdrew herself from the tournament due to an injury on Sunday. This is the second time in 3 years that the Russian queen withdrew from a grand slam competition. 2008 U.S. Open winner Sharapova hasn’t played a game since losing to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon finals in July.
Both the Williams sisters, Venus and top-seeded Serena advanced to the next round. Serena, chasing history, showed signs of her supreme form this season by blowing her opponent in just 30 minutes.