After almost six months, the ATP Tour is back in action in New York, with the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center hosting the first Masters 1000 event of the season. As was expected, we have seen a lot of surprising results so far, with six top-10 seeds suffering early losses and failing to battle for the place in the quarter-final.
The most stunning result came in the second round when Filip Krajinovic took down the Australian Open finalist and world no. 3 Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-1 in 61 minutes! In his first official match since February, the three-time Major finalist suffered one of the toughest losses in a career, never looking like one of the world's best players.
Back in June, Dominic and Filip had battled for the title at the Adria Tour in Belgrade. The Austrian won the title on clay but was nowhere near that performance on Monday to suffer an early loss.
Dominic Thiem won three games against Filip Krajinovic in Cincinnati.
Filip came to New York with only one top-10 victory, earning the second in a big style after leaving Thiem far behind.
In his best serving performance ever, Krajinovic dropped two points behind the initial shot, drawing momentum from there and having the upper hand on the return to storm over the opponent and grab ten of the final 11 games.
The Serb had 17 winners and nine unforced errors, with Thiem counting to 30 unforced mistakes, the most from his forehand. Firing a service winner in almost 40% of all of his points, Filip had a massive 42-22 advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, forging a 21-8 lead in the more extended once to seal the deal in style.
After the match, Thiem said he never felt the ball, unable to find the position on the return and playing with a lot of pressure in his games. Still, he will try to find the causes for such a poor performance and improve that ahead of the next week's US Open, saying he likes to play in New York.
"It was a horrible game by myself. I didn't play well or had any rhythm. I felt like I didn't win a single point on the return, it wasn't easy to get back Filip's serves. I failed to find the timing and the right position while returning.
The problems were there in my service games as well, making me lose confidence and spray more errors. The pressure got higher and that all led to those terrible numbers by my side. It's tough to understand what happened but will think about it and find the answers over the next couple of days.
I usually play well here in New York, last year aside. I hope it will even better this time. I will try to leave this loss behind and start all over next week. The conditions are completely different to what we had in Australia. The balls are different, the court as well. The humidity is high, but I think I can handle that," Dominic Thiem said.