Fabbiano Shocks Thiem At US Open
If you're hoping to ease your way into a Grand Slam, Thomas Fabbiano is not the man you want to face. Just one month after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round at Wimbledon, the Italian scored another first-round stunner at the US Open by defeating fourth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The upset in Arthur Ashe Stadium marked Thiem's first opening-round exit in New York. The Austrian was considered by many to be a prime contender in New York after defeating Roger Federer this March for his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open.
Although Fabbiano was brave in attacking when he had opportunities and showed impressive defence, Thiem struggled to find his footing. The 25-year-old hit 17 winners to 28 unforced errors in the last two sets, with more than half of the mistakes coming from his normally reliable backhand wing.
"I got very, very tired and exhausted after two sets. I'm far away from 100 per cent. Like this, it's very tough to win," said Thiem. "I went on court because in tennis, especially in long two-week tournaments, anything can happen."
After battling hard to level the match at one set apiece, the Austrian hit nine unforced errors in the first three games of the third set. Thiem was unable to recover from his slow start and Fabbiano went on to take a commanding advantage.
Sensing his opportunity, the Italian saved his best tennis for the final stages of the match. Fabbiano took advantage of Thiem standing well behind the baseline in rallies, predominately serving out wide and carving out short angles before successfully gambling on down-the-line winners. A forehand winner on match point saw Fabbiano raise his arms in triumph after two hours and 23 minutes.
Fabbiano continues to excel on big stages this season, with five of his 10 tour-level victories this year coming in Grand Slams. Awaiting the 30-year-old is Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan, who picked up his first US Open win by outlasting Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 2-6, 6-0, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. The 21-year-old reached his first ATP Tour final last month in Newport (l. to Isner).
John Isner scored a dominant win on Tuesday, firing 29 aces and 55 total winners to ease past Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The No. 14 seed was equally impressive in his return games, racking up 14 break points and converting four to advance in one hour and 58 minutes. The American improves to 29-12 in New York and will now take on German Jan-Lennard Struff, who defeated #NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Struff defeated Tsitsipas earlier this month in Cincinnati.
Italian Lorenzo Sonego enjoyed an equally comfortable path to the second round with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Spaniard Marcel Granollers. The 24-year-old clinched his first ATP Tour crown this June in Antalya (d. Kecmanovic). Next up for Sonego is Spaniard Pablo Andujar, who earned his first Grand Slam win in four years by upsetting No. 30 seed Kyle Edmund 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.