Ninth seed Diego Schwartzman suffered an incredible collapse from two-sets up to British player Cameron Norrie before cameras picked up the dejected Argentinian in a hollow Arthur Ashe stadium.
Schwartzman suffered the biggest collapse of his career when Norrie fought from two sets down to beat the battling Argentine 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 in the first round of the US Open.
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Both players served poorly in front of an empty stadium, resulting in 58 break points being up for grabs in total, and 25-year-old Norrie saved two match points in the decider before prevailing after nearly four hours.
A time violation saw Schwartzman lose his cool in the third set and Norrie took advantage to mount his comeback.
Leading tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg described the ending as ‘ugly’ after Schwartzman battled with cramp and his game suffered dearly when he lost nine points in a row.
Ugly finish to this match:
Cramping and not sitting down on the changeover, #9 Diego Schwartzman lost nine points in a row, then netted a forehand on match point.
Cam Norrie prevails, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5.
#9 Schwartzman is the highest* seed out.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 31, 2020
Unfortunately, the saddest part of the incident was the photo of the Argentine, following the match.
Schwartzman was pictured looking dejected and watching on from his locker room, the suites which were revamped to help social distancing, in an empty Arthur Ashe stadium.
— Erik Gudris (@ATNtennis) August 31, 2020
Diego Schwartzman watches from his suite, looking dejected. Looks like he's wondering how he lost from two sets up.#USOpen
— Biola Solace-Chukwu (@Beeorlicious) August 31, 2020
Cam Norrie produced a remarkable fightback on the first day of the US Open, coming back from two sets down and saving two points in a dramatic fifth set on his way to knocking out ninth seed Diego Schwartzman by 3-6 4-6 6-2 6-1 7-5.
— Olusola Olasupo (@mrcommentator11) August 31, 2020
— Brian Webber (@bwwebber) August 31, 2020
A First Round defeat is hard for any tennis player, but after the extended coronavirus break and long build up to the US Open, the look on Schwartzman’s face just about sums it up.
The top-seeded players are enjoying their locker rooms from the corporate suites, in a bid to help the tournament keep players socially distanced during the coronavirus.
But the crushing defeat will most likely see one of the tournament favourites give up the room and potentially head to Europe in a bid to get ready for the clay court tournaments.
Tennis star Paire withdraws after coronavirus result
Paire, seeded 17th at the Grand Slam event, was scheduled to play Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak in the first round at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday but was forced to withdraw after testing positive to the coronavirus.
The 31-year-old arrived in New York to play the Western & Southern Open last week, a tune-up for the US Open, but he did not complete his first-round match against Croatia’s Borna Coric.
Paire appeared to be unwell during the match, asking for a doctor in the opening set before retiring in the second while trailing 6-0 1-0.
With AA and Reuters