US Open Day 2 Recap: Rafael Nadal, Marin Cilic Advance, Sam Querrey retires

Rafael Nadal at the ATP Acapulco Open.

Day 2 at the US Open featured a lot of exciting matches on the men’s side, including some long and tense five-set battles. It also featured Sam Querrey’s farewell to the tour after a very long career that saw him reach one Grand Slam semifinal and three quarterfinals, and win ten titles and 385 ATP Tour-level matches.

As far as the top seeds go, they all survived–unlike on Day 1–but some were pushed to their very limits.

US Open Day 2 Recap

Who looked good

Marin Cilic is always a force to be reckoned with at the US Open, with his incredible 2014 title and several other good runs. Cilic hasn’t been having a good season in general but he’s done well in Slams, especially in Paris, where he reached the semifinals on his worst surface. After missing Wimbledon due to COVID, the US Open is his chance to do damage at Slam level and he couldn’t have started much better. He easily routined Marterer, dropping only 18 serve points all match, and looked like someone who believes they can contend for a second US Open title.

John Isner had an incredibly rare straight set win with no tiebreaks, breaking Delbonis five times en route to a very easy win. The all-time ace record-holder is still firing and is always a very dangerous opponent on US soil, someone that nobody wants to face.

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Hubert Hurkacz had a shocking first round loss at Wimbledon and Oscar Otte could have been a dangerous opponent here too, but this time the Pole won with minimal fuss. He has had a very disappointing year at the Slams so far and this is his last chance to correct that.

Who looked bad

David Goffin had one of the worst chokes in recent times, serving for the match three times and having a match point in the tiebreak on his way to losing to the Hamburg champion Lorenzo Musetti. Goffin was the favorite going in considering Musetti’s struggles on hardcourt and in Grand Slam matches (hadn’t won one all year) and he had the match in his grasp but couldn’t get over the line despite many, many opportunities to do so.

Cincinnati champion Borna Coric came into the US Open with very high hopes but he only barely staved off first round elimination; after leading 2-0 in sets, Coric saw Enzo Couacaud serve for the match in the fifth set, but the world #193 couldn’t keep his nerve when it mattered the most and Coric ended up prevailing. With this level of play, though, Coric’s stay in the tournament isn’t likely to last much longer, let alone mount a challenge for the title.

Benoit Paire might well have played his last Grand Slam match today, as he’ll now be ranked too low to qualify directly and shows no signs of bouncing back. His performance could hardly have been worse: he got bageled twice and failed to serve out the second set.

Match of the day

This has to go to the Goffin vs Musetti match. It lasted almost five hours, it was very tight throughout, and it featured some incredible shotmaking from both players. It also featured an incredible turnaround in the fifth set and was on the knife edge until the very last shot.

Main Photo from Getty.