World no. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas will have to wait for another opportunity to advance into the second round in New York. Tsitsipas suffered a shocking 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 first-round loss to a qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan in two hours and 48 minutes!
Thus, the Greek blew his chances of becoming world no. 1 after the US Open, leaving Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud in that chase. The Colombian made his US Open debut at Louis Armstrong Stadium and produced a surprise.
He left Tsitsipas miles behind in sets one and two and prevailed in the fourth to seal the deal and advance into the next round. Stefanos served at 57% and struggled on the first and second serve. Elahi Galan grabbed 46% of the return points and created 18 break chances.
He converted seven and suffered only two breaks to control the pace and cross the finish line first. The Colombian hit more winners than unforced errors and welcomed almost 60 unforced mistakes from a better-ranked opponent, who looked like a junior in the opening two sets.
Stefanos Tsitsipas experienced an early US Open loss.
Tsitsipas played one of his worst sets in a career in the opener, taking only seven points and experiencing an embarrassing bagel. Daniel controlled the pace and grabbed all six games to open a 6-0 lead in 21 minutes.
Elahi Galan kept his serve safe in set number two and delivered a double break to forge a massive advantage and move closer to the finish line. The Colombian broke in game two and earned another return game at 3-0 to move 6-0, 5-0 up and wrap up eleven straight games!
Tsitsipas received a medical timeout on his right hand ahead of game six and claimed it at 15 to get his name to the scoreboard. Elahi Galan held in game seven to clinch the set and open two sets to love advantage in 54 minutes.
Stefanos broke from 40-15 down in the third set's second game to gain some momentum. He saved a break point in the next game and served well until the end to take the set 6-3 and extend the battle. The Greek scored an early break in the fourth set and moved 4-2 in front, looking good to force a decider.
Instead, Elahi Galan broke back in game eight to gain a boost. Tsitsipas served to stay in the match in game ten and faced five match points! He saved them to avoid defeat and show his fighting spirit. Elahi Galan came from 40-15 down in the 11th game and brought it home for another boost of confidence.
The Colombian earned four more match points on the return in game 12 and seized the ninth overall to start a massive celebration of his career-best victory.
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