The first round is just about complete, so here are some early thoughts from the US Open:
Benoit Paire and Donald Young came to play: 26 year olds Paire and Young have received plenty of hype over the years, and neither is lacking for talent. What they lack is consistency, as they're two of the more up and down players on tour. However, both knocked out seeds in extremely impressive fashion in round one. Paire took down the 4th seed Kei Nishikori in five sets (who in fairness was coming off a leg injury), and Young came from two sets down to defeat 11th seeded Gilles Simon. Both have good draws going forward, and could be around through the middle of the tournament.
Serena's draw opened up: Serena's draw could have been brutal, but it didn't take long for things to open up. Sharapova withdrew before the tournament started, and Sloane Stephens and 8th seeded Karolina Pliskova fell in round one. This isn't to say it will be easy going forward, but it looks like some of her rounds may not be as difficult as they could have been. A Serena vs. Madison Keys match up would be an enticing fourth rounder, and could be her first real test.
Men's tennis is still an old man's game: A few youngsters did get nice wins, as Hyeon Chung and Yoshihito Nishioka both made it through to round two against manageable opponents. Most of the other youngsters on the men's side fell, as Coric, Zverev, Rublev, Kokkinakis, Tiafoe, Donaldson and Paul were unable to make it out of the first round. Many of them received tough draws, but tennis fans looking forward to seeing the next generation break through were hoping some of them could pull an upset. Ultimately, their losses will have little effect on their extremely bright futures, though it takes some excitement out of the men's tournament. If nothing else, they got a taste of the fitness that's required to compete at the top level, and should all be back better next year.
A mixed bag for Americans: Overall, it looks like the American women performed a bit better than their male counterparts, but there were some disappointing (and pleasantly surprising) results on both sides. Lots of American women won in the top half, including Anna Tatishvili who knocked out the 8th seed. However, Alison Riske can't be happy about losing to a struggling Eugenie Bouchard, and local favorite Christina McHale also fell. On the men's side Mardy Fish showed he's still got something left in his last tournament, and Donald Young was the first round's big winner. Austin Krajicek also had a nice win, as he battled past Santiago Giraldo. However, Steve Johnson couldn't get past Fognini, Denis Kudla lost a winnable match to Jurgen Melzer and Sam Querrey fell in straights to Nicolas Mahut. Most of the others did what they were supposed to do, and it will be interesting to see who besides Serena may be in for a deep run.
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