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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

In-form Tsitsipas dumped out of US Open by an old foe

Elina Svitolina reaches third round at Flushing Meadows for fourth straight year

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece had arrived in New York for the US Open in red-hot form. EPA
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece had arrived in New York for the US Open in red-hot form. EPA

Rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas crashed out of the US Open yesterday.

The in-form Tsitsipas was ­beaten by Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in what can be ­considered an upset in the men’s draw.

Tsitsipas had arrived in New York fresh from his brilliant outing at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where he finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal.

En route to the final, the 20-year-old Greek player had defeated Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson.

Victory will be sweet for Medvedev, who flew into a rage after beating Tsitsipas at the Miami Open in March. Medvedev came from a set down to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, but the Russian took exception to something his opponent said to him at the post-match handshakes.

It is unclear what exactly Tsitsipas had said, but Medvedev retorted by saying: “You go in emergency toilet for five minutes, you hit a let and don’t say sorry, you think you are a good kid? ‘Look at me, look at me huh! You don’t look at me?”

“If he says something to me and he wants to fight, he needs to do it,” he then told the ­umpire. “If he wants to fight, I’m okay.”

Elina Svitolina reached the third round of the tournament for the fourth straight year after beating Tatjana Maria 6-2, 6-3. Svitolina avenged her first-round Wimbledon defeat to Maria earlier this summer. Ukrainian Svitolina broke her hard-serving German opponent five times during the match, with the seventh seed proving more effective on her own first service as she won 79 per cent of those points – far superior to Maria’s 52 per cent.

Svitolina also had 24 winners in total, outpacing Maria’s 18.

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Belarussian Victoria Azarenka easily reached the third round in her return to the season’s final major tournament, beating No 25 seed Daria Gavrilova of Australia 6-1, 6-2.

Former world No 1 Azarenka is playing in the tournament for the first time since 2015 after giving birth to a son.

The two-time US Open finalist, who had a ranking too low for direct entry, received a wild card. It is the first time she is unseeded at Flushing Meadows since 2007.

Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic beat Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 6-0, 6-1. The Belgian Elise Mertens defeated Vera Lapko of Belarus 6-2, 6-0.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer fired a warning shot at Gerard Pique after the Barcelona footballer said he wants to hold the revamped Davis Cup in September. That would see it become a rival to the Laver Cup, the Ryder Cup-style competition devised by Federer, with Geneva due to host the third edition from September 20-22 next year.

“For us tennis players, it’s a little strange that a footballer comes to interfere in our world,” Federer said. “He [Pique] must remain verycareful. The Davis Cup should not become the Pique Cup.”