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Greek star Sakkari crashes out of US Open after surprise defeat

tennis: us open
Maria Sakkari (L) shakes hands with Xiyu Wang after their match at Flushing Meadows in New York

Greek third seed Maria Sakkari became the biggest casualty in the women’s draw at the U.S. Open when she fell to a 3-6 7-5 7-5 defeat to unseeded Chinese Wang Xiyu in an adsorbing second-round contest on Wednesday.

Sakkari, a semi-finalist in New York last year, took charge in the early stages and marched into a one-set lead before being let down by a series of unforced errors as Wang claimed her first career victory over a top-10 player.

Despite Sakkari’s superior experience, Wang’s heavy hitting from the baseline came to the fore in the second set as she took a 5-3 lead before clinching it after a double-fault from Sakkari.

Both players matched each other in the decider but it was Wang who raised her game in the key moments, breaking Sakkari at 6-5 to take the win and reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Sakkari’s defeat capped a difficult couple of days for Greek tennis following the shock first-round exit of men’s fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas at the hands of Colombian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan.

Murray overcomes Nava to move into third round

Former world number one Andy Murray survived an early scare to beat American wildcard Emilio Nava 5-7 6-3 6-1 6-0 at the U.S. Open on Wednesday to move into the third round of a Grand Slam for only the second time in five years.

Nava is ranked 203 in the world but the 20-year-old, who knocked out John Millman in the first round, showed he belonged further up the ladder with his confident shot-making, winning the big points to take a gruelling first set in 84 minutes.

Murray struggled with his first serve but is always happy to graft in Grand Slams, and broke the inexperienced Nava twice in the second set to level the match after the American made several unforced errors.

That fuelled Murray as he suddenly found his range on serve, tearing through the third set as Nava failed to sustain his levels from the opener and began to fade, giving the resolute Scot the advantage.

With Nava on the ropes, Murray was ruthless with two early breaks to go 4-0 up. Nava nearly got on the board in the fifth game but the 35-year-old Murray stood firm to break again before serving out the set.

“Physically this is the best I’ve felt in years… I’m getting closer to where I want to be. Hopefully I can have a deep run here,” Murray said.

Murray will next meet either 13th seed Matteo Berrettini or Hugo Grenier.

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