The first round of this year's Open featured more retirements than any round at any other Grand Slam during the professional era. Ten men and two women retired during their first round matches. On the men's side, the casualties included Pablo Andujar, Radek Stepanek, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Gael Monfils, Yen-Hsun Lu, Florian Mayer, Ernests Gulbis, Aleksandr Nedovyesov, Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Marcos Baghdatis. On the women's side, Vitalia Diatchenko and Marina Erakovic conceded their matches. Two more men—Denis Istomin and American Jack Sock—retired during the second round, including a scary incident that saw American Jack Sock almost collapse on court.
The rash of retirements led some players—including Stan Wawrinka—and pundits to complain about the lack of a heat rule for male players. In hot and humid conditions, female players are granted a ten-minute break between the second and third sets of a match, but the men do not receive an extended break despite playing best-of-five-set matches. Roger Federer, though, says "We've been here in North America for some time. It's not like, all of a sudden, hot. I mean, it was on the warmer side, but it's not like impossible, to be quite honest. Really no excuse for that. I think everybody should be well-prepared."
Grand Slam on Track
I'd hate to jinx her chances, but Serena Williams has been the biggest story of the tournament. She kept her hopes for a calendar year Grand Slam on track with wins through the first four rounds and the exit of many other top seeds—including Sharapova's early withdrawal—seem to be opening the way even more.
Goodbye to Mardy
American Mardy Fish called it a career after a triumphant return to his country's biggest tournament. Fish won his opening round match, but he was sent packing in the next round by Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez in a five set match that saw Fish limping to the finish line while battling cramps. Fish made his return to professional tennis earlier this summer after missing most of the past two years due to anxiety attacks that brought on dangerous bouts of cardiac arrhythmia.
American Michael Russell also called it a career, while Australian Lleyton Hewitt made his final appearance at the US Open.
The Art of the Smash
We were treated to some epic and artful racquet smashes during the tournament's opening rounds. Coco Vandeweghe treated us to this epic smash:
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Meanwhile, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both just missed the cut with racquet smashes that fell just into the tournament's second week. Here they are for a look anyway:
Nadal's Streak Snapped
After ten consecutive years with at least one Grand Slam title, Rafael Nadal's streak was broken by a third round loss to Fabio Fognini. The 14-time Slam winner has lost to Fognini three times this year, though Fognini's latest win came as a shock after he trailed Nadal two sets to none.
This year's discussion of Canada's Genie Bouchard has largely centered on her metaphorical fall from grace. A string of poor results, a coaching carousel, and the overhyped "handshake incident" have all been hot topics. Over the weekend, though, Bouchard had a much more literal fall. While heading in for an ice bath, the Canadian slipped on the floor and fell, hitting her head and elbow. She suffered a concussion and was forced to withdraw from both her doubles matches and her singles match.