Fourth seed Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open finalist, lost to Benoit Paire in five sets in the first round. He joins seventh seed Ana Ivanovic, who also lost on Monday morning. American Mardy Fish advanced to the second round, which delays his retirement for at least one more match.
Nishikori won the second and third set after he dropped the first to Paire. Victory was in his hands in the fourth set, but he squandered two match points. His inability to capitalize on those match points allowed Paire to take home the exciting 54 minute set.
Unfortunately for Nishikori, the fourth set sapped all his energy. He lacked steam and concentration in the fifth and final set. Paire protected his serve with precision and broke Nishikori once. Yet that break was all he needed to advance.
Earlier, Ivanovic became the first upset at the 2015 US Open when Dominika Cibulkova defeated the Serb 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Ivanovic’s loss leaves no major obstacle for Serena Williams to reach the final on her way to a calendar Grand Slam. However, it is not too much of a surprise since Cibulkova used to be in the top 10 and only fell to 50th because of injuries. She lost to Li Na in the 2014 Australian Open final.
Fish has openly struggled with his anxiety disorder in the past few years. Earlier this year he announced the US Open would be his final tournament, which he last played in 2012. At that time he withdrew in the fourth round against Roger Federer due to an anxiety attack. He lost the first set to Marco Cecchinato, but easily handled the Italian in the next three sets. He will play eighteenth seed Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday.