Novak Djokovic advances; Tsitsipas and Ruud are eliminated from the US Open 2023.

Grand Slam finalists Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud experienced surprising second-round defeats, making them the highest-seeded men’s players to exit the US Open. The seventh-seeded Tsitsipas suffered a gruelling five-set loss to Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker, with the final set going 6-3 in Stricker’s avor. Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Ruud, who was the runner-up in the previous year’s tournament, was defeated by Chinese player Zhang Zhizhen in five sets.

However, Novak Djokovic, the second seed, had a smooth run with a dominant 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles. Djokovic, aiming for his 24th major title, was already predicted to reach the final from the bottom half of the draw, and the exits of Tsitsipas and Ruud have further cleared his path.

Djokovic is set to face fellow Serbian Laslo Djere in the next round. Despite being 36 years old, Djokovic expressed his satisfaction with his performance and his hunger to play his best tennis on the court.

American ninth seed Taylor Fritz is a potential quarterfinal opponent for Djokovic after his convincing victory against Juan Pablo Varillas. Fritz was among four American players to progress on that day, as the host nation hopes for its first male champion since 2003.

Stricker, a 21-year-old making his US Open debut, displayed remarkable composure and self-belief throughout the tournament. In his crucial fifth-set encounter against Tsitsipas, he maintained his cool and even sang along to Whitney Houston’s “I Want to Dance With Somebody” during a changeover. Despite his lack of experience, Stricker’s confidence and mental strength were evident, and he secured his victory over Tsitsipas.

On the other hand, Tsitsipas acknowledged his mental struggle during the match and expressed disappointment in not being able to bounce back after losing a key game. Despite his successes in other tournaments, Tsitsipas has historically struggled to perform well at the US Open.

In summary, Tsitsipas and Ruud faced shocking exits in the US Open, while Djokovic continued his dominant run. Stricker’s debut performance and Tsitsipas’ challenges added drama to the tournament’s early stages.

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