New York, Aug 30 (EFE).- Greece’s world No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas and Norway’s 5th seed Casper Ruud lost Wednesday in the second round of the US Open, as former champion Novak Djokovic eased past his rival in straight sets.
The Serbian world. No. 2 beat Spain’s Bernabe Zapata and is yet to drop a set in this tournament, after which he will retake the world No. 1 ranking from defending champion Carlos Alcaraz.
Djokovic won 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 in one hour and 59 minutes and will face his compatriot Laslo Djere, who beat Frenchman Hugo Gaston.
Zapata told EFE on Monday that facing Djokovic at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the world’s largest tennis arena, was like a dream come true.
“In the end it’s what a child always wants when he watches television: to be on a big court for a ‘grand slam’ against one of the best in history,” he said.
Elsewhere, Tsitsipas fell to Dominic Stricker, who scored one of his career’s most important victories by beating Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (8), 6-3 in four hours and four minutes.
The young Swiss also reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.
Instead, Tsitsipas, a finalist this year at the Australian Open, sealed yet another disappointment at the New York grand slam, where he also fell in the first round last year with another stunning loss to Colombian Daniel Galan.
The Greek won the ATP 250 in Los Cabos this summer, defeating Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the final.
But since then he has accumulated several disappointments in a row, including eliminations in the round of 16 of the Toronto Masters 1,000 against the French Gael Monfils and in the round of 16 of the Cincinnati Masters against the Pole Hubert Hurkacz.
Similarly to Tsitsipas, last year’s finalist Ruud was eliminated Wednesday in the second round against China’s Zhizhen Zhang.
Zhang beat Ruud by 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 in three hours and 19 minutes.
The Norwegian, also a double finalist at Roland Garros the last two years, fell far short of repeating or improving his result last year, where he lost the title to Alcaraz.
Zhang, 26, will now face Australia’s world No. 110 Rinky Hijikata in the third round. EFE