American Andy Murray could not pull off a major shock in the first round of the US Open as the number three seed Stefanos Tsitsipas twice hit back from a set down to complete a dramatic 2-6 7-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory in front of a lively crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Murray produced one of his best performances in years, but could not prevent Tsitsipas from hitting back to complete a dramatic five-set victory in an enthralling first-round encounter at the 2021 US Open.
The third seed had to work hard to claim a rollercoaster 2-6 7-6(9) 3-6 6-3 6-4 success in four hours and 49 minutes inside a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 34-year-old Murray, ranked 112 in the world, got off to a flyer as he tore apart a nervy Tsitsipas to earn a double break on his way to taking a dominant opener in 42 minutes.
Tsitsipas improved dramatically in the second set, clocking up a number of love holds and applying plenty of pressure to the Murray serve. However, the former world No 1 held firm to force a tie-break in which he took charge.
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam winner, questioned the umpire as to why his opponent was allowed to take so long during a medical recess, but it did not affect Tsitsipas’ focus.
The world No 3 fought off a break back point in game four and continued to keep Murray at bay to avoid a shock loss that would have sent shockwaves through the men’s singles draw.
The Greek will now face Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in round two of the US OPEN.