Stan Wawrinka (SUI) def  Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) | 63 62 75
Arthur Ashe Stadium’s opening match of the 2018 US Open featured the 1st-Round’s most enticing clash: World #8 Grigor Dimitrov versus 3-time Major Champion Stan Wawrinka.
Ranked inside the top-10 for over a year and the reigning ATP Finals champion, Dimitrov was the tentative favorite against a Wawrinka ranked outside the top-100, still recovering from a long-term knee injury that forced him from the game for the final five months of 2017.
Since his return at the Australian Open, Stan’s results were mediocre at best. After falling in the 1st-Round of the French Open, his ranking plummeted to World #261. At Wimbledon however, he finally earned a highlight, coming back from a set-down to defeat – Grigor Dimitrov in the 1st-Round 16 76(3) 76(5) 64.
There’s no question: The Wimbledon loss impacted Dimitrov’s focus in Flushing. All went well until he lost his serve to fall behind 3-5 in the first. He’d end up losing seven consecutive games; and in a blink, was down a set and 0-4. Grigor gathered himself in the third, earning his first break and a chance to serve for the set – but Stan broke right back, and won the next three games to seal the victory.
Truthfully, it was an even match. Stan pounded 30 winners to Grigor’s 29. Wawrinka had 37 unforced errors to Dimitrov’s 42. Stan simply played better when it mattered, converting 5 of 14 break chances. Grigor had 8 break opportunities of his own, but only managed to convert one – then gave it right back. Tennis…it’s heady game.
HEAD TO HEAD: Wawrinka vs Dimitrov
NEXT: Qualifier Ugo Humbert -139- (FRA)
Stan Wawrinka faces French Qualifier Ugo Humbert, who defeated American Collin Altamirano earlier in the day. The match will be 20-year-old Humbert’s first career test against a Major champion. Wawrinka owns Slam Singles titles at the 2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open.
Surprising upset on the new Louis Armstrong Stadium
Shortly after Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov took the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Simona Halep became the first #1-seeded woman ever to lose in the first round of the US Open. Playing in the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, Simona fell to Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi 62 64. The new venue would prove to be “upset-central” over 2018’s fortnight.
Stan Wawrinka -101- (SUI)
This 33-year-old US Open Champion won his 3rd Grand Slam Singles title, right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium 2-years-ago. He captured his first Major at the 2014 Australian Open; and a year later, lifted the trophy at Roland Garros. Ranked as high as #3 in the world, he’s an Olympic Doubles Gold Medalist; and in 2014, helped lift his country to its first-ever Davis Cup title. In 2016, he defeated Juan Martin Del Potro in the Quarters, Kei Nishikori in the Semi’s and World #1 Novak Djokovic in the Final to win the title here in Flushing. From Switzerland, please welcome 2016 US Open Champion, Stan Wawrinka.
 Grigor Dimitrov -08- (BUL)
At 27-years-old, he owns 8 ATP World Tour Singles titles; and last November, climbed to a career-high ranking of World #3 after capturing the ATP Finals in London. He’s reached the US Open Round of 16 twice; and is a 2-time Grand Slam Semifinalist: At the 2014 Wimbledon Championships and 2017 Australian Open. A member of his country’s Olympic and Davis Cup Teams, he is the most successful men’s tennis player in Bulgaria’s history – and has earned 23 career-wins over top-10 opponents. Competing in his 9th US Open, from Bulgaria – Please welcome the #8 Player in the World, Grigor Dimitrov.