With straightforward victory at the U.S. Open on Monday, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe launched their individual campaigns to become the first American men to win a Grand Slam trophy in 20 years.
With the ninth seed, the top-ranked Americans barely faced competition. After Tiafoe, the 10th seed, defeated American Learner Tien 6-2 7-5 6-1 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Fritz destroyed fellow countryman Steve Johnson 6-2 6-1 6-2 in Louis Armstrong Stadium. Since Andy Roddick’s 2003 U.S. Open victory, 78 Grand Slam tournaments have been played.
Fritz and Tiafoe are largely responsible for the optimism that an American man would end this title drought at one of tennis’ premier competitions. Fritz, the top-ranked American since the end of 2021, established the tone right away by winning 20 of 23 points during a five-game span to go up 5-1 before finishing the 23-minute set with a hold at love.
In the second set, it was more of a one-way street as Fritz continued to attack Johnson’s serve and encountered no opposition the rest of the way. Fritz proved to be far too powerful as he finished the match in 80 minutes without encountering a single break point. Fritz agreed that there were many demands placed on him.
With Tien, who at 17 was the youngest player in the main draw and received a U.S. Open wild card after winning the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championship for the second time in a row, Tiafoe had a difficult initial test. Nevertheless, Tiafoe, who had an unexpected run to the semifinals in New York the previous year, won the opening set without dropping serve, secured the second with a hold at love, and swept through the third set by winning six straight games.
American Prospect Advances with Dominant Victory
Another American prospect, Tommy Paul, who was seeded 17th, defeated Italian Stefano Travaglia with a composed score of 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-1. In a matchup with Russian Roman Safiullin in the second round that appears to favor the New Jersey native, Paul racked up 14 aces and broke Travaglia’s serve nine times. Paul, who earlier this month defeated world number one Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open, claimed he and his countrymen were experiencing love in New York.
In order to advance, Christopher Eubanks, the 28th seed who caused a stir by making it to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in July, defeated South Korean Kwon Soon-wo 6-3 6-4 0-6 6-4 on Grandstand.
Sebastian Korda, who lost to Marton Fucsovics in a marathon match that lasted nearly four and a half hours and featured scores of 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(1) 4-6 6-4, was the largest American to lose on Monday’s men’s side.
After defeating the tournament’s 31st seed to set up a second-round matchup with Australia’s Rinky Hijikata, the Hungarian took off his sweat-drenched shirt and flashed his muscles in front of the audience.