World no. 4 Holger Rune experienced his fourth consecutive loss! The young Dane faced Roberto Carballes Baena in the US Open first round, falling 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and 42 minutes on Court 5. Holger did not like that he had to play on Court 5, but his level would have been appropriate for a much smaller one!
The Dane asked for a medical timeout on his left leg, and the Spaniard used his opportunities to deliver his first top-10 victory in a career. Carballes Baena served at 53%, which did not plague his game. He fired seven aces and lost serve three times.
Roberto grabbed 44% of the return points and turned them into seven breaks from 14 opportunities, enough to carry him over the top. Rune sprayed over 40 unforced errors, struggling to find his A-game and fading from the court in sets three and four to extend his losing streak.
They produced four comfortable holds at the start of the duel before Carballes Baena delivered a break at 2-2 after Rune's double fault.
Roberto Carballes Baena took down Holger Rune in four sets in the first round.
The Spaniard returned at 5-3 and fired a forehand winner to provide his second break and clinch the opener in 37 minutes.
Holger kicked off the second set with a break after a volley winner before losing serve in game two following a wild forehand. The Dane forced the Spaniard's mistake in the third set, claiming his second break in a row and opening a 2-1 gap.
Rune survived break points in the sixth game, bringing the game home and moving 4-2 in front. Holger served for the set at 5-4 and fired a service winner to clinch it and level the overall score after an hour and 28 minutes.
Roberto made a fresh start in the third set and grabbed a break in the fourth game on his fourth opportunity. The Spaniard squandered game points at 4-2 and lost serve after netting a forehand. Instead of building on that, Rune got broken at love in the eighth game, allowing Carballes Baena to serve for the set at 5-3.
The Spaniard held at love with a forehand winner, rattling off eight points and building two sets to one advantage after two hours and 12 minutes. Roberto dropped three points behind the initial shot in the fourth set, keeping the pressure on Holger.
The Dane could not endure it, losing serve at 15 in the third game to move closer to the exit door. Rune experienced a break at love at 2-4 after a wild forehand, allowing Carballes Baena to serve for victory. Roberto held at 15 in game eight to emerge at the top and celebrate his first top-10 triumph at 30.