Marin Cilic played Tennys on Monday afternoon.
No, really, he did.
Cilic, the No. 5 seed, beat American Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Sandgren is of Swedish descent and his first name, pronounced tennis, is derived from his Swedish great-grandfather. The name has even required him to produce secondary identification to gain entry to some tennis grounds.
This is Cilic’s return to tennis after his loss in the championship match at Wimbledon to Roger Federer. He was hindered by a foot blister at Wimbledon, then before he could embark on the American hardcourt season, he suffered an adductor injury.
“The last eight, nine days I’m practicing full without thinking about it. That’s quite good,” he said. “With this first match out of the way, I think that just resolves everything.”
Kate Sattler of the Suffolk County Junior Tennis League kicked off the USTA’s new initiative, Kids’ Coin Tosses, at the U.S. Open Monday.
She flipped the coin for the opening match on Arthur Ashe Stadium between Garbine Muguruza and Varvara Lepchenko.
Sattler, 8, is from Center Moriches and according to her father Steve the junior tennis league had several participants at the Open yesterday and their coach, Joe Arias, selected Kate to make the coin toss.
Aleksandra Krunic made it to the fourth round of the U.S. Open in 2014, beating Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova along the way. But that performance didn’t portend a rise to the upper echelons of the game. This season she managed to climb to No. 78 in the world, and that got her direct entry into the Open.
Monday she knocked out seventh seed Johanna Konta, and credited a certain disconnect between body and mind for that win.
“In 2014 I was lucky in some respects because everyone went my way that week. Before and after that I wasn’t really working well,” Krunic said yesterday. “I mean, I can’t call fourth round an accident, but it wasn’t great work in my heart.
“We all need time, some players more, some players less, to realize what works best for us on the court. Mental-wise, I think I found my way. The most important thing is for me to play and let my body handle the job and try to think as least as possible. Once I start thinking, it’s too many thoughts.”