WHAT HAPPENED: That was the burning question on everyone’s mind as Stefanos Tsitsipas fell behind Colombian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan 6-0, 5-0. With a slow start against a Galan masterclass, the Greek only managed to win seven points overall in the opening set.
The Colombian faced a significantly tougher difficulty in finishing the match, but on his ninth match point, he did it to secure a 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 triumph in Louis Armstrong Stadium, which had once again proven to be a house of horrors for the Greek.
Tsitsipas declared after the game that “he dominated the match.” I simply wasn’t interested in it.
The audience greeted Tsitsipas as he entered the evening match after he scored late in the second set. Tsitsipas raised his racquet to them. Galan was outstanding in his US Open main-draw debut and played several of the early exchanges from within the baseline as he hammered home his advantage, despite not playing at his best and having trouble maintaining consistency.
But in set three, when the fourth seed had his forearm worked on, he started to change the course of the match with the help of many trainer visits during changeovers. After getting a break in the second game’s 14-point stretch, Tsitsipas started to strike his marks and dominated the third set. At 4-2, he was in command with another break to begin the fourth.
Galan won five of the final six games, and Tsitsipas saved break points at 4-5 and 5-6 until his fate was sealed by a forehand error—his 57th unforced error of the match.
One of my career’s best moments, according to Galan. “Without a doubt, the best game of my career, both in terms of the situation and the opponent. I’m very joyful.